Excessive drinking is more common in the U.S. than we might realize as studies have shown a surprising amount of adults frequently binge on alcohol. As many as 38 million U.S. adults binge drink on a regular basis according to findings from a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That means one in six Americans drink at least four or five alcoholic drinks on a single occasion.
This type of binge drinking is an issue that occurs within an average of four times a month for these Americans. The study also showed that different age groups binge drink more than others but binging is a common occurrence for people in the U.S. at all stages of their life.
Alcohol Consumption in Different Age Groups
College age students are typically considered binge drinkers and the study showed unsurprisingly that this age group drinks the most on one occasion. College students drink an average of nine drinks per occasion while binging on alcohol. While college drinkers tend to consume the most alcohol at one time, older age groups actually drink more often.
The findings of the study showed that about 36 percent of binge drinking occurs among people 35 and older. Age groups between 45 and 64 said they binge drink about five times a month and consume seven drinks on one occasion. The number of Americans who binge drink after the age of 65 is much lower - only about 4 percent.
However this oldest group of binge drinkers tends to consume alcohol excessively about 5.5 times a month making them the most frequent drinkers of any age group. Young adults tend to drink the most in one sitting but they do not binge as frequently as older groups with only about four days of binge drinking per month.
Risks of Binge Drinking
The study revealed some interesting findings and possibly some cause for concern about the level of binge drinking that takes place across every age group. Excessive alcohol consumption is not just a common problem for high school kids or college students, but is an issue that affects American people in adulthood and even old age. Binge drinking appears to be most common in certain areas, however, including the Midwest, New England, Washington D.C., Alaska and Hawaii.
These regions of the U.S. tend to drink the most frequently but states in the southwest like Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah tend to consume more drinks overall. Drinking five or more drinks on a single occasion may seem reasonable for a party or a get together with friends but drinking at this level has proven to be associated with a number of different risks. Binge drinking can cause health hazards like car accidents, injuries, violence and the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Drinking heavily and often can cause serious health problems like liver disease and alcohol is responsible for eighty thousand deaths in the U.S. The chances of getting sick and dying tend to increase for binge drinkers.
According to studies by the CDC, binge drinking is relatively common for a wide range of Americans who consume high levels of alcohol several times each month. Binge drinking can have a negative financial impact as well as a huge public health impact. It is important for adults to try to reduce binge drinking so that they avoid influencing the drinking behavior of underage youth and prevent the health effects it can have on adults and young people alike.
The CDC hopes the government will create community strategies to educate people on the dangers of binge drinking and take measures to reduce alcohol consumption to a more moderate and infrequent level.