U.S. Adults Consume 17 Billion Binge Drinks Per Year, says CDC
Adults in the U.S. consume around 17 billion binge drinks per year, which equates to roughly 470 binge drinks per drinker. In its latest study, the CDC found that binge drinking rates in the U.S. are continuing to soar, and driving rates of dangerous driving and violent behavior, along with the risk for serious health problems including cancer. The findings suggest that the U.S. take steps to prevent binge drinking nationwide by focusing on reducing the number of binge drinks, along with the amount consumed during binge-drinking episodes.
Latest Binge-Drinking Statistics in the U.S.
Roughly one in every six U.S. adults binge drink about once per week, and consume an average of seven drinks per binge episode. Binge drinking rates in 2011 were similar with one in every six adults binge drinking about four times per month, but Americans were reported to consume about eight drinks per binge. Binge drinking is defined as consuming at least five drinks within two hours if you’re a man, and at least four drinks in two hours if you’re a woman.
For its latest report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the CDC looked at self-reported binge drinking data from its 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Binge drinking is most prevalent among young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, though more than half of all binge drinks are consumed by adults 35 and older. Roughly four in five binge drinks are consumed by men, while those with household incomes of less than $25,000 per year consumed more binge drinks per year than those with higher incomes.
Binge drinking rates are highest in Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Hawaii, and lowest in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. The CDC reports that binge drinking is responsible for more than 50% of 88,000 alcohol-related deaths in the U.S., and for three-quarters of the $249 billion in costs generated by excess drinking.
How Does the U.S. Plan to Reduce Binge Drinking?
CDC lead researcher Dr. Robert Brewer says the study reveals that binge drinkers in the U.S. are putting themselves at great risk for harming themselves and others, and that the country must use a comprehensive approach to reduce binge drinking rates. Strategies include limiting alcohol sales in high-risk areas, and reducing the number of businesses that sell alcohol. Businesses that serve or sell alcohol to intoxicated and underage patrons should also be subject to more serious legal consequences to reduce binge drinking rates.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force also recommends that health care providers conduct routine alcohol screening and intervention so people who abuse alcohol can get the help they need to become sober and healthier. Binge drinking increases the risk for alcohol abuse and dependence, and can lead to lifelong problems with addiction. The CDC reminds Americans that alcohol should be consumed in moderation, and be limited to two drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women.
Getting Help for Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse
Binge drinking is not the same as alcohol addiction, but is closely related to alcohol abuse and can develop into addiction when practiced regularly. Binge drinking several times per week can increase your tolerance level, and require you to drink higher amounts of alcohol to feel its effects. Binge drinking and alcohol abuse can both increase your risk for intoxication, blackouts, and alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol abuse and addiction can be safely and fully treated at an alcohol detox center that also offers therapy. Alcohol detox helps you withdraw from alcohol and overcome dependence under 24/7 medical care and supervision, while therapy can help you face and overcome the reasons you started binge drinking and abusing alcohol in the first place. For instance, if you started binge drinking to cope with feelings of stress, therapy can teach you healthier ways to manage stress that replace binge drinking.
If you or a loved one needs help recovering from alcohol abuse, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-483-2193 to speak with an addiction counselor. We’ll discuss your treatment options, and help you find a nearby alcohol detox center ready to help you achieve lifelong sobriety.