America is on a binge -- 17.5 billion drinks worth

Bottles of liquor sit on a bar in an undated stock image

Bottles of liquor sit on a bar in an undated stock image

A new report on binge drinking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some striking findings on Americans' drinking habits. They found that binge drinking was most common among adults aged 18 to 34, but more than half of all binge drinks consumed were from adults ages 35 years and older.

Researchers found that about 1 in 6 US adults reported binge drinking an average of about once a week, consuming an average of seven drinks per binge.

Najibah Rehman, MD, MPH, is a third-year Preventive Medicine Resident at the University of MI, working in the ABC News Medical Unit.

For binge consumers, 4 out of each 5 drinks were devoured by men.

The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming five or more drinks for men or four or more drinks for women in two hours.

The Mississippi River Valley Region - including Arkansas, Mississippi, and Kentucky - had the highest number of binge drinks per adult; Hawaii was also near the top. "The findings also show the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to prevent binge drinking".

For this report, CDC scientists analyzed data on self-reported binge drinking during the past 30 days from CDC's 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

The researchers then multiplied the estimated total number of binge-drinking episodes by the average largest number of drinks consumed per episode, for a whopping 17.5 billion binge drinks consumed in 2015.

Binge drinking can result in unsafe driving, risky sexual behavior, and violent behavior. Research has shown that binge drinking can result in unsafe driving, risky sexual behavior, and more violent behavior, and it also increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and liver failure.

According to the CDC, 88,000 deaths are directly attributed to alcohol use each year and half of those are due to binge drinking. They drink an average of about seven drinks per binge, meaning they chug a collective 17.5 billion drinks each year. Increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the number of places alcohol is for sale in an area, even legal liability for serving an underage or intoxicated person, might be able to help combat this public health issue.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that if alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation: up to one drink a day for women, and up to two drinks a day for men.

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