MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New numbers show binge drinking is a bigger problem than previously thought nationwide, including the Midwest.

One in six American adults binge drinks about four times a month, and on average, the largest number of drinks they have at a time is eight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some say that overloading on alcohol has become the norm in American society.

“I would say that I probably drink more than eight drinks if I’m going to go out for an entire evening,” said Ally Taubenheim, a 23-year-old woman.

Even after college, she still finds herself, she said, drinking at a rate that experts warn is dangerous, and she’s not the only one doing it.

“When you go out, if you can drink a lot, it’s like you’re cool or something. Everybody’s just trying to drink as much as they can,” she said.

Binge drinking has become a problem in all states. Wisconsin has the largest number of binge drinkers with 25.6 percent of adults. They also have the most drinks at once, 9.

Minnesota is also in the top tier of binge drinking states at 20.1 percent of adults. On average, they put down more than 7.4 drinks at a time.

“Definitely a Midwest thing, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” said Taubenheim.

People who are 65 and older actually binge drink the most often.

“Binge drinking is… I want to have fun typically,” said Dr. David Frenz, Medical Director for Addiction Medicine for HealthEast Care System.

Frenz counsels those who abuse alcohol after they’re injured.

“They’ll come to the hospital with a broken bone, or they crash a car and injure themselves. Something bad happens,” Frenz said. “It’s kind of like obesity, you know, everybody’s obese and so it’s hard to pick out somebody who’s clearly obese, because everybody’s obese. And so it’s the same sort of thing with drinking. It’s sort of hard to identify people who are using alcohol harmfully, because everybody’s using it harmfully.”

In fact, the CDC says binge drinking costs everyone a $1.90 every drink, or $746 per person in the United States in 2006. Costs include health care expenses, crime and lost productivity.
The CDC says drinking too much contributes to more than 54 different injuries and diseases.

While Taubenheim says drinking takes her stress away, experts worry about the stress binge drinking is putting on society will continue to grow.

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Comments (13)
  1. Mike says:

    Why didn’t the article point out that binge drinking is set a level of 4 alcoholic drinks?
    Considering that, I am positive it occurs more frequently than the study numbers indicate. The bigger question though is what kind of new tax or fee are they proposing drawing conclusions with percentages set this high?

  2. Low says:

    No surprise except for the low percentage – I’d bet it closer to 40%, maybe even higher.
    Guess it’s all the excitement of living here in the midwest. I mean hell – who wants to go camping or hiking or fishing or to a museum or ….. when you have booze instead.
    Inbreeding …. and WI and MN are at the top of the USA in this department. Sick

    1. Rockford says:

      Low? Meaning as in intelligence?

  3. Just guessin says:

    This is why living in Minnesota has become is so depressing to sober people. What agony, trying to communicate with brains that are incapable of intelligent and caring communications.

  4. helpermonkey says:

    This article makes me thirsty.

  5. thirsty says:

    boy could i use a beer or 2-cases that is!!!

    1. a few too manyyyyyyyyyy says:

      Me too, as a matter of fact, I’m gonna pass-out righhhhhhhtttttttttt nowwwwwwww

  6. Cry me a river says:

    So Ally, we have something in common…..what’s your number? 😉

  7. RIII says:

    I would guess this bit of stupidity from the CDC probably cost us taxpayers several million dollars. What’s next; spend a few million dollars on a study about hitting oneself in the head with a hammer? We need to get rid of half of these worthless government employees and maybe the other half will do something useful…

  8. chris says:

    meanwhile the war on cannabis continues

  9. Murph says:

    If there was no party of no!.If there was real freedom and the carrot was bigger and the pole shorter? What would that number be then? You see there are many ,many, things that play into this game of information.People are hurting and unbeknowst even to them,the reach of that is very far! If I had a hammer,I’d hammer in the morning,I’d hammer….! But would it do any good? People in pain seek relief.There is only ONE,vote Dem ocrat and tell the Austrailian puppet master to kiss your behinder.False news is false news,no matter how you spell it.They did NOT build the 800 REX 84 camps to hold the WEALTHY. SOOOO,get brave ask them WHY they did it! Who are they targeting for the 2012 victory bonfire,if not you and me! The GOP has to go! SOYLENT GREEN,not just Grandpa and Grandpa’s nightmare anymore!

  10. Brett says:

    With the current president and governergoober in charge, I’m surprised that most people in this country aren’t drinking even MORE than they are now.

  11. Brett says:

    Can anyone imagine how much worse things would be if all of the DRUG abuse were decriminalized??

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