Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Surveys That Include Information Relevant to Binge Drinking

This table provides a brief overview of selected surveys administered in the United States and internationally that collect information that can be used to study binge drinking. This list reflects relevant surveys referenced in this issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. It is not a comprehensive compilation of all of the surveys relevant to this topic.

High-Intensity Drinking

Binge drinking thresholds have long been set at four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over the course of a few hours. However, a significant number of people regularly consume much higher amounts of alcohol: double or even triple the standard binge drinking threshold. Researchers have begun to distinguish between typical binge drinking and this kind of “high-intensity...

Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain: What We’ve Learned and Where the Data Are Taking Us


The past 50 years of research supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have resulted in an accumulation of invaluable data to address the multifaceted problems surrounding underage drinking. Youth use of alcohol remains a pervasive social and public health concern in the United States and a leading cause of disability and mortality during...

Biomonitoring for Improving Alcohol Consumption Surveys: The New Gold Standard?

To assess alcohol consumption levels in large populations, researchers often rely on self-report measures. However, these approaches are associated with several limitations, particularly underreporting. Use of noninvasive biomonitoring approaches may help validate self-report alcohol consumption measurements and thus improve their accuracy. Two such devices currently are available, the WrisTAS™and...

Adolescent Binge Drinking

Binge drinking, commonly defined as consuming five or more standard drinks per occasion for men and four or more drinks for women, typically begins in adolescence. Adolescents, although they may drink less often, tend to consume higher quantities of alcohol per occasion compared with adults. This developmental difference in pattern of alcohol consumption may result, in part, from maturational...

Gender Differences in Binge Drinking

A large research literature shows that women consistently consume less alcohol than men, and they experience fewer social problems resulting from drinking than men, but these gender differences vary culturally, demographically, and historically.

“Maturing Out” of Binge and Problem Drinking

This article reviews literature aiming to explain the widespread reductions in binge and problem drinking that begin around the transition to young adulthood (i.e., “maturing out”). Whereas most existing literature on maturing out emphasizes contextual effects of transitions into adult roles and responsibilities, this article also reviews recent work demonstrating further effects of young adult...

The Epidemiology of Binge Drinking Among College-Age Individuals in the United States

Rates of alcohol consumption continue to be a concern, particularly for individuals who are college age. Drinking patterns have changed over time, with the frequency of binge drinking (consuming four/five or more drinks for women/men) remaining high (30% to 40%). Young adults in the college age range are developmentally and socially at higher risk for drinking at binge levels. Changes in autonomy...

Tracking the When, Where, and With Whom of Alcohol Use: Integrating Ecological Momentary Assessment and Geospatial Data to Examine Risk for Alcohol-Related Problems

Prevention researchers have found that drinking in different contexts is related to different alcohol problems. Where and with whom people drink affects the types of alcohol-related problems they experience. Consequently, identifying those contexts that result in the greatest number of problems provides a novel opportunity to target new prevention efforts aimed at those contexts. However...

Binge Drinking’s Effects on the Body

Alcohol misuse is the fifth-leading risk factor for premature death and disability worldwide, and, adjusting for age, alcohol is the leading risk factor for mortality and the overall burden of disease in the 15 to 59 age group. According to the World Health Organization, in 2004, 4.5% of the global burden of disease and injury was attributable to alcohol: 7.4% for men and 1.4% for women.