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Binge Drinking-What You Need to Know

Binge Drinking-What You Need to Know

New estimates show that binge drinking* is a bigger problem than previously thought. More than 38 million US adults binge drink, about 4 times a month, and the largest number of drinks per binge is on average 8. This behavior greatly increases the chances of getting hurt or hurting others due to car crashes, violence, and suicide. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes 80,000 deaths in the US each year and in 2006 cost the economy $223.5 billion. Binge drinking is a problem in all states, even in states with fewer binge drinkers, because they are binging more often and in larger amounts.

*Binge drinking means men drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time or women drinking 4 or more drinks within a short period of time.

As reported in the January 2012 Vital Signs, the CDC found that those who were thought less likely to binge drink actually engage in this behavior more often and consume more drinks when they do. While binge drinking is more common among young adults aged 18–34 years, binge drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking more often—an average of five to six times a month. Similarly, while binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, the largest number of drinks consumed on an occasion is significantly higher among binge drinkers with household incomes less than $25,000—an average of eight to nine drinks per occasion, far beyond the amount thought to induce intoxication.

Adult binge drinking is most common in the Midwest, New England, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and Hawaii. On average, however, the number of drinks consumed when binge drinking is highest in the Midwest and southern Mountain states (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah), and in some states— such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina—where binge drinking was less common.

Information for this post was obtainded from: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs index January 2012.

Information, Sources & Resources:

Visit the CDC's Vital Signs-Binge Drinking and CDC Features-Vital Signs: Binge Drinking for more information

CDC-TV: Binge Drinking

Vital Signs: Binge Drinking Prevalence, Frequency, and Intensity Among Adults — United States, 2010

Published on March 01, 2014

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