interesting though is that the definition of 'binge drinking' is not
discussed. Oddly enough, my undergraduate research and thesis (later
published) centered on alcohol 'addiction' and binge drinking. Saving
the boring details ~ what is termed binge drinking versus a more
generalized 'alcohol life-style' -- has a dramatic effect on how one can
view and interpret such social settings. I say this not to discount or
refute the concerns of the article, but rather to caution those drawing
conclusions from the words...there is more that needs to be revealed/
evaluated in such settings.
Binge drinking is the modern definition of drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. Or alternatively, a consistent amount of alcohol over a long period of time. It is a kind of purposeful drinking style that is popular in several countries worldwide, and overlaps somewhat with social drinking since it is often done in groups.
I don't know much about the literature relating to the pathophysiology of various types of drinking behaviors. However, it's possible that the liver, and perhaps other organs, suffers less acute damage on the basis of moderate exposure to ethanol over time than large amounts of alcohol in bursts as the result of binge drinking. The next question is whether episodic high-level ethanol exposure leads to a more chronic disease such as liver scarring. I did a Google search, binge drinking and long-term effects, and came up with the following for what it's worth:
It's no secret that those persons who begin to drink early in their teen years have an increased risk of developing alcohol dependence during their lives, often at a young age. But new research shows that teen binge drinking has other long - term effects on the health, particularly a higher risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes....The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, compared binge drinkers (called early peak drinkers) with those who began drinking alcohol later in life and maintained a moderate drinking pattern (stable drinkers). Researchers found that even if early peak drinkers drank less over a lifetime than stable drinkers or curtailed their drinking as they matured - they still had a greater risk for health problems. The study authors speculate that heavy drinking causes changes in the endocrine system and cardiovascular system that carry over to later life, and also that early peak drinkers may have developed other unhealthy lifestyle habits that are detrimental to the body.