Alcohol Statistics in the United States

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) excessive alcohol use was responsible for approximately 88,000 deaths from 2006-2010.  The CDC defines excessive drinking as “binge drinking, heavy drinking and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.”  Binge drinking differs depending on sex.  For men, consuming 5 or more drinking in one sitting constitutes binge drinking while for women it is 4 or more drinks in one occasion.  Heavy drinkers are considered women who have 8 or more drinks per week and men who consume 15 or more alcoholic drinks per week.

Excessive drinking can cause a number of health issues including an increase in the chances of experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health problems, long-term health risks such as heart and liver disease.  The CDC reports an increase in the chances of getting cancer as a result of excessive alcohol use.  Short-term health risks include a higher chance of sustaining an injury from a fall, car crash or accidental drowning as well as an increased chance of experiencing a violent episode, miscarriage or other devastating condition.

While both men and women can be negatively affected by excessive alcohol use, there are unique health risks to each segment of the population.  For instance, women may experience reproductive challenges as a result of excessive drinking.  Too much alcohol can increase the risk of infertility in women of child-bearing age.  It can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.

Excessive alcohol use is a real problem that afflicts people from every corner of the nation.  It can have real consequences to your health and well-being.  There is a wealth of information on the adverse effects of alcohol for both men and women.  Learn more from the CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health Fact Sheets.