One-in-six Americans Are Binge Drinkers: CDC
January 11, 2012

One-in-six Americans Are Binge Drinkers: CDC

More than 38 million U.S. adults, or about 17 percent of the population, engaged in binge drinking at least four times a month in 2010, consuming an average of eight drinks per occasion, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These rates of binge drinking were much higher than previously believed, the health agency said.

Binge drinking was more common in those between the ages of 18-34, although people 65 and older also binge drink more often than previously thought – five to six times per month, according to the report.

The frequency of binge drinking was more common among people with household incomes of $75,000 or more, the CDC said.  However, the highest rates — eight to nine drinks per occasion — were seen among those living at or near the poverty line.

Adult binge drinking was most common in the Midwest, New England, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and Hawaii, although the number of drinks consumed while binge drinking was the highest among people in the Midwest and southern Mountain states (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah).   Some states where binge drinking was less common, such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, also showed high rates of drinks consumed.

The CDC said that binge drinkers are at a higher risk for a number of health and social problems, such as car accidents, liver disease, violence, certain cancers, heart disease and sexually transmitted diseases.

Overconsumption of alcohol is currently the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., with more than 80,000 fatalities occurring each year.

The CDC´s full report can be viewed at