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U.S. Binge Drinking Increases

separator What exactly is binge drinking? It’s identified as having five or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a survey that revealed binge drinking has increased by 17 percent among adults in the U.S. And it went up by 56 percent in 18- to 20-year-olds. Here are some numbers on binge drinking for the year 2001, according to the CDC’s survey:

  • Adults aged 18 to 25 went on binges an average of 18 times per year. Those 26 to 34 had an average of nine binges per year and 35- to 54-year-olds had an average of nearly seven.
  • Men had 12.5 episodes in 2001, while women had 2.7.
  • Hispanic people had 8.4 episodes, Caucasians had 7.4 and African-Americans had 5.4, on average.

The CDC based its results on data from telephone interviews they conducted every other year from 1993 to 2001. 

Binge drinking is a public health problem that some experts argue is becoming an epidemic. Be sure to read this month’s articles about addiction—what addiction really is, how to perform an intervention on a loved one and alternative treatments for addiction.

Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 January 2003
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