Women are now drinking more alcohol than men for the first time in history, doctor warns

EXCLUSIVE – For the first time in history, women are outperforming men in binge drinking, a growing concern among health officials as drinking among young adults rises overall. As the pandemic ended, they seem to be drinking more than ever.

In 2020, during the pandemic, we saw a sustained decline in binge drinking among college-age students. Most were in isolation or at home when classes went online. Group activities or parties where alcohol consumption would be predominant simply did not take place.


“In 2021 there was an upward trend, especially among women. Now it turns out that for the first time in history, women are drinking more than men on college campuses,” said Dr. George F. Koob, Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Koob said while alcohol consumption has declined overall during the pandemic, alcohol-related deaths have increased by 25% not just for college students but for the general population. Koob believes isolation has contributed to mental health problems and substance abuse across the board.

But now we’re back. People are partying and colleges and bars are reopening. Restaurants are serving up bottomless brunch, and wineries and breweries are ready to pour.

The public needs to see the real evidence-based data we know about alcohol.

(nd3000 / Envato)

“This is what we call the alcohol withdrawal effect. People tend to really recover from drinking after a period of not drinking,” Kob said. “We’re a little concerned that this spring and spring break will be a return to a good dose of binge drinking. I just want to warn everyone that when you start to reach binge drinking levels, you are doing really bad things to your body.

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So where is this new group of women drinking alcohol more than ever? Koob said knowing what a standard drink is and what your limit is is important to taking care of your health.

“A standard drink is 1.5 ounces of vodka, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine,” Koob said. “When you go beyond a standard drink, you really get to the point where alcohol ultimately becomes a poison. You can easily overdose.”

As social media trends encourage dangerous coma-boozing “hacks,” including the viral “BORGs,” or “blackout rage gals,” that combine water, electrolytes, and vodka, TikTok is specifically pushing the misconception that this drink keeps you hydrated while you drink copious amounts of alcohol.

“Somehow we have to get the public across that these are not evidence-based ideas and get the real evidence-based data we know about alcohol out there.”

Koob said so-called “borgs” aren’t unique and don’t help the body process alcohol better or faster. In fact, consuming half a gallon of vodka as the recipe dictates is fatal.

“You can basically kill yourself,” he warned. “For people who binge drink and drink heavily — 8 drinks for women, 10 drinks for men — you’re approaching life-threatening danger.”

However, Koob makes it clear that no one is stopping you from quitting drinking. It’s a staple in our society, after all: the housewarming gift of wine, the spiced bourbon given to your groomsmen, mimosas at brunch, champagne for a birthday, and beer to unwind after work.

“Alcohol is a social lubricant. It’s ubiquitous in our society,” Koob said. “You’ll find it at practically every medical conference, symposium, [and] boardroom in the country.”

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However, Koob encourages people to reconsider their alcohol consumption to help them evaluate their relationship with alcohol.

“Following dietary guidelines while drinking becomes really crucial if you want to stay healthy.”