Guidance for authors on the policy of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs regarding the appropriate use of the term "binge"
In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that the clinicians and researchers who submit to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs have been using the term "binge" or "binge drinking" to describe quite different phenomena. For instance, while some contributors have simply used a set number of drinks per drinking occasion to define a binge (e.g., 5 drinks in a row for men and 4 drinks in a row for women), others feel that the term "binge" should only be used to describe an extended bout of drinking or other substance use (often operationalized as at least 2 days) in which the person neglects other activities in order to drink.
In order to avoid the confusion that can potentially arise when different clinical phenomena are being described by the same name, the Journal has now adopted a policy that requires the term "binge" to be used in a specific way in accepted manuscripts. According to the policy, the term "binge" should only be used to describe an extended period of time (usually two or more days) during which a person repeatedly administers alcohol or another substance to the point of intoxication, and gives up his/her usual activities and obligations in order to use the substance. It is the combination of prolonged use and the giving up of usual activities that forms the core of the definition of a "binge."
If authors are using the word "binge" to mean something other than the extended period of intoxication with concomitant neglect of activities/obligations as described above, we ask that they change their terminology. Alternative terms for the word "binge" include "heavy drinking"/"heavy use" or "heavy episodic drinking"/"heavy episodic use."
Authors who retain the term "binge" in their manuscripts must clearly show in the Methods sections to their papers that what they are actually measuring is a "binge" as described above (i.e., the several days of extended intoxication with interference in usual obligations and activities).
For more information on the Journal's definition of this or other terms, authors should contact either the editor or the associate editor assigned to handle their manuscripts.