People who drink too much are alcoholics, or at least are alcohol-dependent.
Nine out of 10 adults who drink too much alcohol are not alcoholics and aren’t alcohol-dependent, the study concluded.
The study found that almost one out of every three of us drinks excessively. Most are binge drinkers, usually on multiple occasions. But only about one in 30 adults is classified as alcohol-dependent.
The study defines excessive drinking as:
- Binge drinking — four or more drinks on an occasion for women; five or more drinks for men
- Consuming eight or more drinks within a week for women or 15 or more drinks for men
- Any alcohol use by pregnant women
- Any alcohol use by individuals younger than 21.
This doesn’t explain why a lot of people who aren’t alcohol-dependent nonetheless drink more than they should. But whatever the cause, the cost is enormous. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 88,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC, and it takes a $223.5 billion annual toll on the economy.
The study was conducted by scientists from the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They analyzed data on 138,100 U.S. adults ages 18 and older from all 50 states and the District of Columbia who participated in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009, 2010 or 2011.
Contact John Lundy at email@example.com.