Binge Drinking on the Rise

Bartender pouring strong alcoholic drink into small glasses on bOver the past few years, there has been an increase in alcohol-impaired driving. This follows a twenty year decline. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that this increase is due, at least in part, to a recent significant rise in binge drinking.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more drinks by a woman within 2 hours. Most binge drinkers do so about 4 times a month.

CDC director Thomas Frieden said that “at least 80 percent of binge drinkers are not alcohol-dependent. Yet binge drinking accounts for most deaths from alcohol.”

Binge Drinking Facts

  1. One in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month, consuming about eight drinks per binge.
  2. 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.
  3. Binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more than among those with lower incomes.
  4. Approximately 92% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days.
  5. Although college students commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older.
  6. The prevalence of binge drinking among men is twice that of women.
  7. Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than non-binge drinkers.
  8. About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.
  9. More than half of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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