Binge Drinking, 2010

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

Hot off the presses from the Centers for Disease Control, the latest study about binge drinking in the United States.

No surprise, impoverished binge drinkers with annual household incomes of less than $25,000, had the highest frequency and intensity of bingeing, but what is surprising is binge drinkers with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more had the highest prevalence of binge drinking.

So if you are poor, you are most likely to drink a lot and often, but you will most likely be bingeing alone while wealthier folks will have more company while bingeing, but won’t get as drunk!

 

Key Points

  • Binge drinking causes more than half of the 80,000 deaths and three quarters of the $223.5 billion in economic costs caused by excessive drinking.
  • Approximately one in six (38 million) U.S. adults binge drink, and do so approximately four times a month. On average, the largest number of drinks consumed by binge drinkers is eight drinks per occasion.
  • Prevalence and intensity of binge drinking was highest among persons aged 18–34 years, but the frequency of binge drinking was highest among binge drinkers aged ≥65 years. Binge drinkers with annual household incomes ≥$75,000 had the highest binge drinking prevalence, but binge drinkers with household incomes <$25,000 had the highest frequency and intensity of binge drinking.
  • The Task Force on Community Preventive Services has recommended interventions that could reduce binge drinking in states and the health and social costs related to it. These recommended measures include the following:
    • Limit the number of retail alcohol outlets that sell alcoholic beverages in a given area.
    • Hold alcohol retailers liable for harms related to the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors and intoxicated patrons (dram shop liability).
    • Maintain existing limits on the days and hours when alcohol is sold.
    • Increase the price of alcohol.
    • Avoid further privatization of alcohol sales in states with government operated or contracted liquor stores.
  • Additional information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns.

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