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Let's Talk About Binge Drinking

Your mate or loved one doesn't have to hit rock-bottom by waking up half-naked in a field before you realise they’re drinking too much. But how much alcohol is too much?

When someone is drinking too much, they may struggle to feel good without alcohol, get stressed out often and have a hard time making decisions.

This behaviour is a recipe for disaster and it’s important to catch the signs as early as possible. So what does problem drinking look like? And, how do you know if they’re drinking too much?

If you suspect your mate or family member is overdrinking, pay attention to these red flags.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is super common in Aussie part culture (especially at huge events like Schoolies, O-Week, and music festivals) and involves several drinks over the course of one day or night. For men, binge drinking occurs after FIVE or more drinks in a single occasion, compared to FOUR or more for women.

Heavy Drinking

Heavy drinking is based on how many drinks someone has per week. For women, it’s EIGHT or more, and for men, it’s FIFTEEN or more. Alcohol affects each person differently, so how much is too much can vary from person to person. If you suspect your mate or family member is overdrinking, pay attention to the following red flags.

#Signs Your Loved One Is Drinking Too Much


Always hungover in the morning

Waking up with a huge headache and dashing to the toilet for a sneaky vom is a sure sign that too much alcohol entered their bloodstream. Moderate drinking (which is defined as up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 for men) is recommended to avoid pain and regret the next day.



A warning bell should go off if your mate is pouring a drink every night or complaining they can’t relax or function without one.


Drinking more than intended

Once they start, they can't stop. Alcohol problems often arise from drinking too much, too fast. Let's say it together: "self control is key".


Keeping a secret stash of grog

They may have a hidden stash, secretly drink throughout the day or take extreme measures to hide it from friends and family.


Drinking alone

Drinking alone doesn’t necessarily mean a person is drinking too much. But, drinking alone more than with other people can indicate a problem.


Neglecting responsibilities

He/she may call in sick to work/bail on uni more often than they used to. They might favor drinking over family responsibilities, relationships and other duties at home.


Can't go cold turkey

Once the buzz from alcohol wears off, they experience uncomfortable symptoms. It’s not uncommon for them to continue drinking to avoid withdrawal, continuing the cycle of addiction.


Continued use despite harmful consequences

Even though drinking causes problems in various aspects of life and health, your loved one sadly continues to use alcohol.



They have drunk so much that their body has adjusted to having alcohol in the system, and they require more to achieve the desired effects. It might be time to take a detox.


ADIS provides a free service for those who are having issues with alcohol, are concerned about someone else’s alcohol use, or just have general questions about alcohol.

Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS): 1800 250 015 (24 hours/day, 7 days/week)

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