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Study: Risky Drinking Increased Significantly

A study published last week in JAMA Psychiatry found that the number of Americans engaging in risky drinking behavior has increased considerably—approximately thirty million people binge drink once per week (De la Cretaz, 2017; Grant et al., 2017).


“We haven’t seen these increases for three or four decades,” stated Bridget Grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the lead author on the study (De la Cretaz, 2017). The study concluded that “compared with 9.7 percent in 2001–2002, about 12.6 percent of adults reported risky drinking behavior during the previous year” and that “High-risk behavior was defined as drinking more than the federal guidelines for excessive alcohol consumption—four drinks in a day for women and five drinks for men at least once per week” (De la Cretaz, 2017).


Interestingly, women showed a much larger increase in alcohol misuse than men: 83.7 percent over the past eleven years (De la Cretaz, 2017). According to Ann Dowsett Johnson, the author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, this gender-specific information is not surprising, as for many women alcohol is “the quickest way to decompress at the end of a demanding workday, not to mention potentially parenting kids” (De la Cretaz, 2017).  




De la Cretaz, B. (2017). America may be in the middle of an alcohol crisis. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/america-may-be-middle-alcohol-crisis
Grant, B. F., Chou, S. P., Saha, T. D., Pickering, R. P., Kerridge, B. T., Ruan, W. J., . . . Hasin, D. S. (2017). Prevalence of twelve-month alcohol use, high-risk drinking, and DSM-IV alcohol use disorder in the United States, 2001–2002 to 2012–2013: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.2161