This paper is the result of extensive research, and as such is the original work of the author. Any information that has been borrowed from other authors has been properly cited to avoid plagiarism, which is an academic offense
This document will examine the medical condition of binge drinking. It will cover two types of treatment and the health professional involved in the preparations of these treatments. Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is defined as blood-alcohol levels [greater than or equal to] 0.08g% in a two hour period. (Diguarde, 2008). It is known to be extremely common with younger adults. Binge drinking can be detrimental to one’s health because compared to someone who drinks small amounts on a regular basis a binge drinker consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time puts the liver under more pressure. They can also cause injury to themselves and others which may result in death.
Many societies have or still engage in binge drinking but the most dominant proportion of the population involved in binge drinking is the adolescent category. Out of these, research shows that one in every twenty five girls engages in binge drinking while, worryingly, one in three adolescent boys engage in binge drinking. These numbers should worry any government or society and as such, binge drinking is considered a public health issue (Diguarde, 2008).
One might argue that drinking has been there since time immemorial, or even that alcohol is a licenced commodity and so it should not worry the authorities. The answer here lies in the difference between normal or rightful consumption of alcohol and binge drinking. Binge drinking involves intake of large amounts of alcohol within a very short period of time and this exposes the liver to more pressure as compared to normal drinking. Binge drinking almost certainly leads to alcohol addiction in the long run and so binge drinking is a public health issue because of its long term effects. Other effects associated with binge drinking are traffic accidents and many other kinds of accidents, unruly behavior and even suicide. Most binge drinkers are also likely to be consumers of other psychotropic substances.
2.0 Causes of binge drinking
An interview carried out to binge drinkers reveals that most binge drinkers do not have any substantial reasons for binge drinking. Most of them do it because their friends do it, or because they perceive binge drinking to be part of a night out. One of the major causes of binge drinking, therefore, is perception; the perception that binge drinking is part of the social scene and so when one is on the social scene, they must binge drink. Some of the motives behind bingeing include; to have fun, to conform to the norms of peers, to escape the realities of everyday and to gain courage to deal with the social setting (“Binge Drinking”, n.d).
There are also personality traits that may lead to binge drinking. Some of these are; depression or anxiety, a history of drug and substance abuse in the family and impulsive personality traits.
The graph below shows the reasons for binge drinking amongst adolescent youths (“Binge Drinking,” n.d):
3.0 Treatments of binge drinking
You need to have the inner strength to acknowledge your drinking problems before any type of treatment can start.
This case is of a student in Australia. The name of the student is Collette Bird. Collette Bird is an A level student at an Australian school and basing on this we can safely conclude that she is an adolescent. She is currently in her final year and her expectations are to later join the university and study a course in English. Her parents are divorced and so she currently stays with her mum at a posh house along Crawhill road. She also has an elder sister, though, they do not currently live under the same house. Her sister got married and left Collette and her mum about two years ago. Her mum has an office job in Brigstow, and is currently dating a Turkish man. Collette’s childhood is described as uneventful. Collette has started a drinking habit, going out every night to party and drink. Her mother does not like this behavior and has warned her to stop this behavior. This does not seem to be working. Collette’s qualification to university to pursue her dream course is hinged on her passing her A levels and if it does not happen then she will not qualify for university admission.
3.2 Definition and description of the health condition under the case study
Collette’s family and social life point towards a dissatisfaction of some sort. Her age group, presumably adolescent, may also come into play in the final conclusion of the definition of her case. Her living without a father figure around her may have caused her to engage in the undesirable behavior of excessive partying and drinking. We also do not know if she approves of her mother’s relationship. If not, this may also be a factor towards her behavior. Her daily partying and drinking may indicate that maybe addiction is knocking on her door. Binge drinking perfectly fits Collette’s case. She exhibits most of the causes of binge drinking described above, namely, daily stress and partying, where binge drinking will almost certainly happen ( “Binge Drinking”’ n.d).
4.0 Binge drinking in various countries
Different countries have different statistics on the prevalence of binge drinking. Below is a look at three countries:
4.1 Binge drinking in Australia
Binge drinking is fairly prevalent in Australia. The national household drug survey conducted in 2007 indicate that 20% of teenagers aged between 14 and 19 years consume alcohol every week. Amongst this category of weekly teenage drinkers, 29% of the males were found to have consumed atleast seven bottles of alcohol in one night, while 32% of the ladies had consumed more than five bottles a night (“Young Australians and Alcohol”, n.d). This amounts of alcohol consumption fit in to the description of binge drinking. This drinking habit seems to reflect in the accidents section of hospital, with the report claiming that the youth aged between 15 and 24 years account for more than half of all alcohol related injuries (“Young Australians and Alcohol”, n.d). These statistics are quite significant and so we can conclude that binge drinking is fairly prevalent in Australia.
4.2 Binge drinking in United States of America (USA)
Binge drinking in the USA cuts across the different age groups. The CDC website reports that one in every six adult Americans binge drinks on approximately four times per thirty days. Binge drinking is also common amongst the youths, though the adults report a higher binge drinking frequency than the youth. Although adults account for 70% of binge drinking episodes, the youths binge drink 90% of the time they drink as compared to slightly more than half of the time when the adults drink. From this data, we can say that binge drinking is very prevalent in the USA.
4.3 Binge drinking in Hong Kong
Binge drinking is fairly low in Hong Kong. The overall drinking population accounts for approximately 38% of the total population. Out of this proportion, only 9.5% regard themselves as regular drinkers. A PHS study on binge drinking reported that only about 14% of drinkers binge drink (“ALCOHOLISM IN HONG KONG”, n.d). This statistics, as compared to Australia and USA, show that binge drinking is low in Hong Kong.
5.0 Treatment methods
Drug treatments effect the nervous system that changes the activity of the brain by interfering with the brains chemicals which minimises the alcohol craving and gives the drinker a feeling of satisfaction. Koulos (2004) reports that Ondansetron, Naltrexone, Topiramate and Baclofen are examples of drugs that alter the behaviour of drinking.
Gene Theraphy may offer beneficial alternatives to current psychosocial and pharmacotherapeutic interventions, but identification of the target genes is a clinical challenge. The authors reported that a GABA (A) a2 siena vector (pHSVsiLA2) infused into the central nucleus of the amygdale (Cet) of alcohol - preferring ℗ rats caused profound and selective reduction of binge drinking. (Koulos, 2004).
5.1 Health Professionals
When binge drinking is detected in the early stages, primary care workers including medical practitioners, nurses, social workers, and other health personnel would apply a major role. In more severe cases psychiatrists, addictologists or nacrologists would be involved (Koulos, 2004). When the binge drinker acknowledges they have a problem their first step in the right direction towards treatment would be to get guidance from their general medical practitioner. A screening will be preformed which can vary from one simple question to an extensive assessment using a standardised questionnaire (also known as Audit) (Koulos, 2004). Depending on the severity of the condition the user maybe referred to a psychiatrist, nacrologist, pharmacist or neurologist. The psychiatrist will help the client work through the mental processes of the inner causes for their drinking condition. Narcologists will aid in the preference of the suitable drug in the drug treatment with the pharmacist preparing and providing the prescribed drug. The neurologist will aid in the gene therapy treatment.
Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is consuming copious amounts of alcohol over a short period of time. Binge drinking is a condition with undesirable results for uses and people around them. If it's not detected early it can cause extensive damage to the liver. With self acknowledgment and help from the health professionals using various sources of treatments binge drinkers will gain more strength from within and less controlled by their desire to drink.
ALCOHOLISM IN HONG KONG. Retrieved from
Diguarde, I.K (2008). Binge Drinking Research Project. Nova Science Publishers.
DON’T TURN A NIGHT OUT INTO A NIGHT MARE, n.d. National Binge Drinking
Campaign. Retrieved from ww.drinkingnightmare.gov.au/internet/drinkingnightmare/publishing.nsf/Content/B2D387C687D03FC9CA2574FD007CA91C/$File/Young people research.pdf
Fact Sheets- Binge Drinking. Retrieved from
Koulos, E. (2004). Adolescent Binge Drinking: Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention. Alliant
International University, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles