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Binge-Drinking A Growing Problem In America

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Americans are binge-drinking more and more, a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.

The CDC survey found that people in the country consume over 17 billion drinks annually during binges – and this is excluding the volume of alcohol drunk on regular occasions, Forbes reports. While other substances, like opioids, take the spotlight most often, heavy alcohol consumption has been on the rise in recent years. This makes it as much of a concern, since there are many negative health repercussions and underlying problems associated with binge-drinking.

Robert Brewer, study co-author and lead researcher in the CDC’s alcohol program, said,

This study shows that binge drinkers are consuming a huge number of drinks per year, greatly increasing their chances of harming themselves and others.

He added, “The findings also show the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to prevent binge drinking, focusing on reducing both the number of times people binge drink and the amount they drink when they binge.”

The researchers looked at data from interviews of over 400,000 Americans. The questions they asked included information of how often the respondents drank in the past month, and how much they consumed. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in one sitting for women, and five or more for men. The team then calculated how much drinking happened over the year.

They found that 37 million, or one in six, people in the country binged on alcohol at some point in the year. On average, binge drinking took place about once a week, with the average number of drinks at seven.

Men were more likely to binge-drink compared to women. The states with the highest binge drinking levels were Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Hawaii. The least number of binge drinkers were in Washington D.C., New Jersey, New York and Washington state.

Heavy drinking leads to huge consequences in health, both short-term and long-term. Binge drinking can lead to drunk driving, accidents, violence, and risky sexual behavior. In the long run, bingeing can result in cancer, heart, and live diseases.

The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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