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Binge drinking mularkey

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Binge drinking mularkey

Postby jjoyce » Tue May 28, 2013 4:58 pm

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, this is the definition of moderate drinking:

For men:
No more than 4 drinks on any single day AND no more than 14 drinks per week

For women:
No more than 3 drinks on any single day AND no more than 7 drinks per week


Anything beyond that and you're on a binge. Why the difference between men and women? Because binge drinking means drinking to get drunk and it takes women less alcohol to get drunk?

So if you're a woman and you like to have a glass of wine or beer with dinner, you're a binge drinker. And if you're a guy and you like to have two glasses of wine with dinner, you're a binge drinker.

I don't think there's any question that this state has a problem with drinking. But the definition is bogus. Binge drinking is drinking to get drunk and, well, if I have six Miller Lites between noon and midnight... well, I'm not sure how many people get drunk from that. I can't. And based purely on personal observation, that defines Saturday for an awful lot of Wisconsinites.

I mean, if you pick up a 12-pack and consume it between Friday night and Sunday afternoon, it's entirely possible that you wouldn't get close to being buzzed, but you'd be on a binge according to these folks.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby fisticuffs » Tue May 28, 2013 5:15 pm

I think they may need to revise this by state for our WI tolerance levels and drinking culture.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue May 28, 2013 5:16 pm

I agree with everything you posted, Jason. And not only are those definitions just outright stupid, I'd argue that there's little wrong with binge drinking to get drunk anyway. Obviously, it's not the healthiest choice -- hard on the ol' internal organs as well as being an awful lot of calories and such -- but the problem isn't people getting drunk, it's what people do when they're drunk.

I get very very very annoyed with the amount of drunk driving that goes on in this city and nobody likes obnoxious drunks, but I certainly enjoy some binge drinking now and again. Heck, pretty regularly -- it's a rare band practice (and we generally get together once a week) that I don't get hammered (I'd say 8 beers -- and I drink good stuff -- is the norm.) But I don't drive home, I don't go around smashing shit, I don't punch people, I don't commit crimes... I just have a good time singing and hanging out with my friends. Sometimes I get drunk at rock shows. Sometimes I get drunk when I have buddies over to watch movies. Sometimes I get drunk when I spend a night with my girlfriend. Sometimes I get drunk when I go to parties. In a nutshell, I like being drunk.

The problem with binge drinking is that a lot of people are just assholes. The binge drinking just exacerbates their already existing assholish qualities.
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Tue May 28, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby ouroborus4 » Tue May 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Jason, I think you have a problem and should seek counseling. There are many services available to help you with your drinking problem.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby Stomach » Tue May 28, 2013 6:50 pm

ouroborus4 wrote:Jason, I think you have a problem and should seek counseling. There are many services available to help you with your drinking problem.


On account of him admitting to drinking 6 Miller Lites? Yeah, we should pitch in and get him a growler of Hopalicious.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby gargantua » Tue May 28, 2013 6:53 pm

ouroborus4 wrote:Jason, I think you have a problem and should seek counseling. There are many services available to help you with your drinking problem.

I don't know if this post was meant in jest or not, but I suspect the National Institute of Alcoholism Whatever would probably agree that Jason should seek help.

Look, they mean well. But groups like this have an agenda. When you evaluate their conclusions, you need to realize who benefits when LOTS of people fit their definition of someone having a problem and needing treatment. You know, it's the old "if you're a hammer every problem looks like a nail" kind of thing.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby jjoyce » Tue May 28, 2013 9:26 pm

They mean well and the truth is that it's most definitely unhealthy to have 14 drinks a week, 52 weeks a year.

But I have known binge drinkers and I have seen them on binges. They would scoff at 4 drinks in a day. More like 4 drinks in 20 minutes. THAT is abuse.

My point is that it's entirely possible to responsibly drink four or more drinks in a day. I agree with Wagstaff that there are ways to responsibly get drunk, but that has more to do with minimizing responsibilities than anything else. It's impossible to defend someone who would have four drinks and then drive his kids to soccer practice, for instance. But if your responsibilities for the day are to clean up from brunch, turn on the Packers game and let the dog out, how is it a problem to responsibly enjoy five or six beers?

I'm operating under the guidelines introduced by MADD, by the way, which indicate that the body can process up to one drink per hour.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby snoqueen » Tue May 28, 2013 9:32 pm

I think these exaggerated ideas of binge drinking come from a totally different cultural context from ours.

On a summer weekend if someone has a beer at noon eating lunch, a couple in the afternoon cutting grass or playing some sport, another along with dinner, and two more (that's six now) between dinner and going to bed, that's hardly a binge.

Drinking the same amount of alcohol in an hour so you can get pre-drunk before going out (college student stuff) is a binge, to me.

There needs to be more context before anybody takes these people seriously. Defining binge drinking by listing a certain number of drinks per day is oversimplified, A lot depends on the consequences (if any) of the drinking, and not everybody is, say, Mormons.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby ouroborus4 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:56 pm

I did write that last reply in jest, and I agree that especially in WI culture, these seem like strict guidelines. There are about 35% of people, even in WI who choose not to drink at all, however, and to them these guidelines probably make sense. These guidelines I believe are set from a psychological diagnosis point of view. Think DSM IV (or rather V now) rather than MADD. Remember, alcohol is a drug, albeit a socially accepted one. From that perspective the sort of drinking outlined in the binge definition is the kind of drinking that signifies dependence, or the beginning of a dependence and irresponsible use. I'm not saying I agree it should be stigmatized to that level for "innocent" drinking, but I do understand where it is coming from. I think it is more worthwhile to examine whether having 6 beers in one sitting is really the right choice, and admitting that it is a binge, rather than bashing the medically developed guidelines. Its easy to point to the guy who had 12 beers and say, "hey, I didn't get THAT bad, that's a real binge", rather than acknowledge that your personal behavior, though perhaps still under control, is irresponsible.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby snoqueen » Tue May 28, 2013 10:31 pm

The guidelines don't make sense to me, and I think I drink about four beers (well, drinks of any kind) a year by now. I've lived here all my life, so I'm part of the culture even if I'm not much of a participant. It gets less important as time goes by, that's all.

I think any judgments should be rendered in terms of consequences, not drink count. Are you losing your job or missing work? Are your relationships falling apart? Are you waking up in strange people's beds, or having trouble remembering what you did? Not good.

To have drinking guidelines defined by abstainers is sort of like letting the Catholic hierarchy tell you what to do regarding sex.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue May 28, 2013 10:38 pm

ouroborus4 wrote:I think it is more worthwhile to examine whether having 6 beers in one sitting is really the right choice

It's the right choice if you want to get drunk.
ouroborus4 wrote:acknowledge that your personal behavior, though perhaps still under control, is irresponsible.
The point of my post was that when I get drunk, I am in control, and I do it responsibly. And I'm one of those folks who is totally honest with their doctor. And since he doesn't seem concerned, I see no reason why I should be.

I haven't had a drop of alcohol since last Friday, when I had 5 beers over the course of nine hours (1 beer per band: 2 bands at happy hour, then dinner and a few hours off, then 3 bands at Mickey's.) I haven't been drunk since the 16th. Tomorrow, I will most likely get drunk watching a movie with some pals on my couch. Looking forward to it.

snoqueen wrote:I think any judgments should be rendered in terms of consequences, not drink count.
This.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby ouroborus4 » Wed May 29, 2013 7:52 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
ouroborus4 wrote:I think it is more worthwhile to examine whether having 6 beers in one sitting is really the right choice

It's the right choice if you want to get drunk.


Hence the binge. Though the definition of binge does not necessarily include whether you are drunk or not. It is considered in terms of the dose of the drug you are ingesting, and has implications for dependence. As far as whether the drinking is a problem or not, DOES depend on the consequences. You can binge regularly, have dependence, and still not have a problem. It is when it starts to negatively impact your life that it is considered a mental health problem.

Another way to look at it is, could you have enjoyed several bands over the course of the evening without having beers (let alone 6). The answer is probably 'yes', but if you are being honest, there is likely the caveat of, "but it wouldn't be as fun". That signifies dependence and is a binge. I'm not judging, just trying to put the definition into perspective. I drink on occasion, and have binged before myself, but i recognize that even if I'm not drunk, I'm still binging.

Cognitive dissonance, look it up.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby Detritus » Wed May 29, 2013 8:23 am

This is neither here nor there, but Jason, could you correct the thread title? The misspelling is driving me to drink, and I'm beginning to run out of cold ones.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby snoqueen » Wed May 29, 2013 8:28 am

Then the term binge is totally meaningless except as a drink count.

Two is a drinkie-poo, six is a sixer, >6 is a binge. Same with food: four bags of doritos is a fooder, right? Or should that be six, too?

If that's what you want, well, that's what you get: a totally descriptive term. If you want something more prescriptive, you need to go with the consequences concept (which, incidentally, is pretty much what Alcoholics Anonymous uses).

No problem as long as we all know what's what.
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Re: Binge drinking mularkey

Postby ouroborus4 » Wed May 29, 2013 8:50 am

snoqueen wrote:Then the term binge is totally meaningless except as a drink count.

Two is a drinkie-poo, six is a sixer, >6 is a binge. Same with food: four bags of doritos is a fooder, right? Or should that be six, too?

If that's what you want, well, that's what you get: a totally descriptive term. If you want something more prescriptive, you need to go with the consequences concept (which, incidentally, is pretty much what Alcoholics Anonymous uses).

No problem as long as we all know what's what.


Well, yes and no. Binge is based on a drink count(dose), and while it doesn't necessarily indicate a problem, it can signify one and raises red flags. The fact that you binge indicates that you do not have control over your drinking, and is in itself a negative life consequence which can indicate a problem. There are differing levels of alcohol abuse, and someone who binges but doesn't otherwise have a problem would likely be classified as an irresponsible user as opposed to an abuser or a dependent. The latter two levels come into play when there are other consequences (fights, drunk driving, health consequences). I fully recognize that this reasoning is circular, and don't necessarily agree with it, but that is how it is done medically.

Another thing to consider is that while one sitting drinking 6 beers may not significantly impact health, over the long run, this accepted behavior will undoubtedly lead to negative health consequences. Once this happens, irresponsible use becomes abuse.
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