1 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Zambia

2 Locum Consultant, Liaison Psychiatry, Leicester


Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties. Alcohol’s harmful use causes large burden diseases like social and economic burden in societies. Binge drinking is one of the commonest forms of alcohol misuse and has been on an increase among many young women, who find alcohol a source of pleasure and enjoyment when they have timeout with friends and peers. Since binge drinking involves consumption of alcohol on an irregular basis, it may not be viewed as a hazardous form of alcohol use by many drinkers. The present study is aimed at estimating the proportion of female binge drinkers in the population of female social drinkers in Kalingalinga township of Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. We hypothesised that the proportion of binge drinking in the population of female social drinkers is significantly high.

Through snowball sampling, 100 questionnaires (i.e., Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-AUDIT) were successfully distributed to and collected from the female social drinkers aged 20–39 years between August and September, 2016. A two-fold process was followed in identifying the binge drinkers; screening for hazardous alcohol drinkers by identifying those that scored 8 points or above in the first place, and thereafter, identifying binge drinking characteristics from the hazardous drinkers by following scores from the first three questions on the AUDIT.

The results reviewed that 54 of the 100 participants had some form of hazardous alcohol use and 30 of the 54 hazardous drinkers possessed some binge drinking characteristics. The proportion of female binge drinkers in a population of female alcohol drinkers was estimated to be 0.556 (56.6%), while in the general population, it was estimated to be 0.094. This implies that 9.4% of women aged 20–39 years of Kalingalinga in Lusaka engage in alcohol binge drinking, consuming on average 7–9 drinks on occasion almost on a weekly basis. Further, if 56% of all female alcohol drinkers aged 20–39 years seem to engage in some form of alcohol binge drinking, it means that that binge drinking is the highest form of alcohol misuse among these female drinkers.

The results of the present study suggest that there is more alcohol binge drinking among the female social drinkers of Kalingalinga in Lusaka, with an estimated proportion of 0.556 (55.6%) among the female alcohol drinkers and 0.094 (9.4%) in the general population of females aged between 20–39 years. The implication is that alcohol binge drinking seems to be the highest form of alcohol misuse among female drinkers in Kalingalinga.