Americans No Drunker Than Before

One wonders what a report based on 2020 would look like, given lockdowns.

The 2018 survey of over 35,000 American households included 87,000 participants. For the survey, “heavy drinking” was defined as drinking on average over 14 alcoholic drinks per week for men or over 7 drinks per week for women.

Thirty-four percent of American adults surveyed said they did not drink at all during the previous year. Forty-six percent reported being light weekly drinkers and 16% reported being moderate weekly drinkers.

Among all races, older adults (age 65 and up) were the least likely to report being heavy drinkers (4%). Once results were divided by race, black adults and Hispanic adults (roughly 3% each) were least likely to report being heavy drinkers.

Men and women had about the same inclination to be heavy drinkers.

People didn’t curb alcohol use just because they’d seen a doctor in the past year; those who’d seen a doctor were just as likely to overconsume as those who had not. However, adults who didn’t have a regular doctor’s office they visited were more likely to be heavy drinkers (7%) than those who did have a usual healthcare practice they relied on (5%).

Could that be a function of accountability? Humans are social creatures; it’s easy to see where they’d be less willing to disappoint a doctor they feel connected with than a stranger they’d seen only once. Insurance status also was not linked to alcohol use.

Who drank the most? White adults over age 17 had the highest reported rate of alcohol consumption (over 6%).

Note that these numbers are self-reported. Not that anyone might have a reason to lie….

The survey also looked at links between adult alcohol overuse and mental health. Among not-sad people, 5% were heavy drinkers. Seven percent of worried people overdrank, as did nearly 8% of depressed people.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice. Do not take action based solely on this article and always consult with an appropriate healthcare professional. This article is purely for informational purposes.

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