One in Six Americans Binges on Alcohol at Least Twice a Month, says CDC Head

Everybody knows that binge drinking is a problem among young adults, particularly college students. But in fact, it’s very common among all ages. One in six adults report binging on  alcohol one or more times within the past 30 days. That’s 38 million Americans.

This is according to Dr. Robert Brewer, head of the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) Alcohol Program. Brewer was a guest on the NPR program Talk of the Nation recently. “Binge drinking” is defined for this study, as 4 or more drinks for a woman and 5 or more for a man. And, perhaps surprisingly, “seniors who reported binge drinking did so more frequently, even than younger people.”

Brewer went on to say, “when we focused in on binge drinkers, we found that, on average, they reported consuming eight or more drinks on average during at least the largest episodes of binge drinking within the past 30 days. So that’s obviously well above the cut point that we use for defining this behavior and certainly a level of consumption that puts the individual, as well as others that they’re with, at substantially increased risk for a whole host of problems.”

Read a transcript of the radio program, or listen to it, HERE



  1. JeffK on March 27, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I’m suprised the percentage isn’t higher, having had five or more drinks in any one day in the past 30 days sounds like it would cover most people, not just 1 in 6. Maybe my perception is just biased because of the people I know and used to hang out with. ;-)