More Americans are tipping back shots, guzzling down beers, and consuming liquor at binge-worthy rates. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation at the the University of Washington, this surge in alcohol consumption is 17.2 percent greater than it was in 2002, and a large factor is that statistically. women are drinking more.
Researchers found that women’s drinking tendencies are seeing a shift toward acceptance and consumption as social settings change. The Center for Disease Control states that “heavy drinking” is defined as an average of one alcoholic drink per day for women in the past month, and an average of two drinks a day per month in men. Meanwhile, “binge drinking” is defined to be the consumption of more than four drinks a day for women and five plus drinks in a solo occasion for men, which only needs to occur once in a one month time-span.
Since 2005, binge drinking has soured in women seven times compared to the rate seen in men. Women are traditionally drinking more like men have, as a consequence of new social norms, says Tom Greenfield, scientific director at the Alcohol Research Group at the Oakland, Calif.-based Public Health Institute.
With binge drinking on the rise, places like the New Life Recovery Centers in San Jose CA. sees 15 out of 24 beds filled with patients receiving treatment for alcoholism. The NLR Center’s clinical director, Terri Fukagawa, said in an article to CNN.com that, “there are lot of people still out there needing treatment, but they won’t come in unless they have a consequence like losing a job or getting a DUI. They think they have control over it.”
It is no surprise then that alcohol advertising has also increased in the past decade. Companies have spent about $3.45 billion in 2011 alone to market these beverages, particularly hard liquor, according to a Federal Trade Commission study. Consequently, while the binge drinking costs for Americans averaged at $220 billion a year, 88,600 Americans died in 2010 of causes related to drinking. An estimated 3.7 million Americans aged 21 and older were surveyed to complete the research done by Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System under the CDC, which is an ongoing study done county by county.