Prevalence and disparities in excessive alcohol use among U.S. adults
17 million report heavy drinking,
40 million report binge drinking
In the past several years, researchers have shone new light on the public health threat of alcohol consumption in the United States. Nationally, life expectancy has declined, while deaths involving drugs and alcohol have increased.i Those findings are reinforced by studies finding increased high-risk alcohol consumption, such as binge drinking and heavy drinking.ii And early evidence indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated Americans’ alcohol consumption and risky drinking behaviors.iii
The health toll of excessive alcohol consumption affects nearly every segment of the U.S. adult population, as shown by statistically significant growth in alcohol-involved deaths in almost every state and demographic subgroup in a recent SHADAC analysis.iv However, alcohol-involved deaths have not affected the population evenly, with some states and some demographic subgroups experiencing much higher death rates than others.
The analysis in this new brief from SHADAC expert Colin Planalp focuses on high-risk alcohol consumption behaviors that can lead to death and other alcohol-involved diseases. Similar to alcohol-involved deaths, significant differences were found among demographic subgroups in the prevalence of binge drinking and heavy drinking.
Download a PDF of SHADAC's "Prevalence and disparities in excessive alcohol use among U.S. adults" brief.
Size of alcohol, drug overdose death increases in first pandemic year were unparalleled (Blog)
U.S. Health on the Rocks: The Quiet Threat of Growing Alcohol Deaths (Webinar)
Pandemic drinking may exacerbate upward-trending alcohol deaths (Blog)
Escalating Alcohol-Involved Death Rates: Trends and Variation across the Nation and in the States from 2006 to 2019 (Brief and Infographics)
i Case, A. & Deaton, A. (2015, December 8). Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century. PNAS, 112(49), 15078-15083. https://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15078
ii Dafna, D., Naimi, T.S., Liu, Y., & Brewer, R. (2020, January 17). Trends in total binge drinks per adult who reported binge drinking—United States, 2011-2017. MMWR Weekly, 69(2), 30-34. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6902a2.htm?s_cid=mm6902a2_w#F1_down
iii Grossman, E.R., Benjamin-Neelon, S.E., & Sonnenschein, S. (2020). Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey of US adults. Int J Environ Res, 17(24), 9189. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/24/9189
iv Planalp, C., Au-Yeung, C.M., & Winkelman, T.N.A. (2021). Escalating alcohol-involved death rates: Trends and variation across the nation and in the states from 2006 to 2019. State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC). https://www.shadac.org/sites/default/files/publications/Alcohol-Involved-Deaths/AID-4.21-SHADAC-Brief.pdf