When most people think of binge drinking they picture someone drinking for a couple of days straight, not caring about going out, working, cleaning up after themselves or functioning as a normal person would. However, that is not what binge drinking is at all. In fact, having as few as four or five drinks at a time can be a sign of binge drinking and certainly having a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer in one sitting is actually binge drinking.
Many times the focus is on college students that indulge in binge drinking on the weekends after a long week of studying and school work. This is actually more harmful than having a drink every day. The reason is that so much alcohol is consumed in one sitting that the person runs the risk of alcohol poisoning, driving while under the influence and making poor decisions. Those that binge drink also run the risk of attention and memory problems, verbal learning skills, and a host of other negative reactions.
Studies have shown that binge drinkers find it harder to develop new verbal information, which can cause academic problems. As far as memory issues, even those that only binge drink a couple of times a week have developed memory loss and attention deficit. This includes those that do not show signs of a chronic problem and only indulge in binge drinking twice a week. These people showed issues with knowing the difference between relevant and irrelevant information, making it harder to learn and study for exams.
As far as making poor decisions, you might think that this covers someone who is drunk at the time of making the decision but it is actually an ongoing condition. Studies also show that those that are binge drinkers have issues with making good decisions even when they are not drinking. This is due in part to the fact that binge drinking damages the part of the brain (pre-frontal cortex) that helps with decision making, planning, paying attention, emotion processing and controlling bad impulses.
These examples do not even cover the health risks that come from a night of binge drinking. In fact, those that take part in drinking too much at one time run a higher risk of metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster of risk factors in the metabolic range. This can include stroke, type 2 diabetes and the development of heart disease.