Binge drinking in Europe

Adicciones. 2007;19(4):333-9.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Binge drinking is a pattern of heavy drinking which is observed all over Europe. The term Binge drinking implies a lot of different meanings to different people. The most popular definition used for this term is five or more 'standard drinks' in a single occasion. Binge drinking is different from intoxication, although this kind of heavy alcohol consumption can be lead to intoxication. This condition is manifested by different signs, for example slurred speech. Binge drinking is very common among the European population. In 2006 some 80 million Europeans aged 15 plus reported this kind of alcohol consumption patterns. European surveys showed that there is an increase of binge drinking across Europe amongst young people (15-16 years) old since 1995. The consequences of binge drinking contain acute and chronic effects, which are caused by long term alcohol use. The individual risks are brain damage, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. It has also an impact on harm to others than the drinkers. This includes violence and crime, accidents, etc. Each year in the European Union 2000 homicides are related to heavy drinking. There a lot of effective measures to reduce binge drinking. Strong evidence is shown by drink-driving laws, tax, reduced access to and availability of alcohol, brief interventions such as physician advice and advertising controls.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Harm Reduction
  • Humans