More than 50% of young adults are “extreme binge drinkers”, according to a new report by the analysts Mintel. It classes “extreme binge drinkers” as those who drink double the binge drink limit once a week. The official definition of binge drinking is more than eight units in one sitting for men and more than six units for women. Mintel added that some 83% of those aged 18 to 24 could now be classified as regular binge drinkers It also found that young men are the biggest drinkers, relying on alcohol as a social crutch to boost their confidence and help with stressful situations. Also, one in five young women were drinking more than 20 units on a typical night out - equivalent to 2.2 bottles or ten glasses of 12% proof wine. Jonny Forsyth, senior drinks analyst at Mintel, said “Many are drinking more alcohol in a single session that the NHS considers healthy for an entire week. ”Despite understanding the dangers of alcohol, a vast majority of 18 to 24-year-old adults are ignorant of how regularly they indulge in binge drinking behaviour. In fact, for the majority of 18 to 24s, drinking twice their binge drinking limit on a regular basis simply represents a "normal night out".” He added: “People are not drinking any more in terms of quantity, but the drink they are buying is considerably stronger than ten or 20 years ago. “Supermarket discounting is a real problem. Legislation has cracked down very heavily on pubs, however the law has let supermarkets sell at below cost price. “Young people like to go out, but the reality is that drink is now so much cheaper in a supermarket than a pub that more and more young people are drinking at home. “Despite the recession and the fact young people have less money, the low prices charged by supermarkets have allowed them to carry on drinking when otherwise they might have cut back.”