Binge drinking is one of those phrases that is generally used to refer to people who go off on what is also sometimes called a drinking spree, that may in reality last days weeks or even months.
The meaning behind binge drinking is that whilst an individual may go off on one for a certain period of time, there will then follow another period of time, short or long, where they do not drink and stay sober.
The thought process and sometimes the intent behind this approach, drinking is to imply that because they have periods of time when they do not drink they do not actually have a problem.
This line of thought can be well-meaning, and can arise from people’s confusion about the fact that they can drink excessively for a period of time and then either stop or go for another period of time without drinking at all.
This type of drinking gives rise to the illusion of control, and is a myth in many ways concerning both the nature of alcoholism, and a sense of control or not that an individual may have concerning their ability to control their consumption of alcohol.
Anyone familiar with the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous will be aware that at meetings of AA there are numerous sayings is and viewpoints that AA members have and are often willing to share concerning their understanding of alcohol and alcoholism.
Some of these sayings can seem a bit trite, and some of them a bit suspect or dubious.
One of the better sayings however someone is likely to hear at an AA meeting is something to the effect that alcoholism is not about how much you drink, or when you drink, or what type of drink you have, but what alcohol does to you when you do drink.
However this sentiment may be put, it is pointing to a pretty fundamental truth that it is not about the structure of someone’s drinking in terms of amount or time, but it is about the effect of alcohol on an individual which should be the starting point for an assessment of whether or not they have a problem.