While some may indulge in the occasional glass of wine after work or a bottle of beer while watching a football game, many Americans take their alcohol consumption to the extreme.
The CDC defines binge drinking as four or more drinks in one sitting for women, and five or more drinks in one sitting for men. According to a recent CivicScience poll, about one-third of Americans 21 and older binge drink at least once in a given month.
CivicScience asked more than 1,500 American men over the age of 21 how often they drank, and 14% said they binged at least eight times in the last 30 days. Similarly, 8% of American women 21 and older say the same, although significantly less have binged 10 or more times.
In CivicScience’s last report on binge drinking, 71% of women reported zero binge drinking, meaning, over the last few years, more women are binging on alcohol.
The age of the individual also appears to play a role in drinking habits. In general, the older the individual is, the less they seem to indulge in binge drinking.
Although, when broken out by gender as well as age, the data show men between 35 and 54 are more likely to have binged to some extent in the last 30 days than men under 35. The majority of female binge-drinkers are under 35, and the total percentage of women under 35 who binge drink is higher than men under 35 who binge drink.
To better understand the age differences between men and women who binge drink, CivicScience cross-compared men and women who indicated they were a student within the past two years with recent drinking habits. While current or recent (within the last two years) students have binged at roughly the same rate, 15% of men reported binge drinking 10 or more times in the last 30 days.
The known physical and psychological effects of binge drinking are not the only area of concern. Drunk driving causes more than 10,000 deaths a year in the U.S. alone, accounting for one-third of all traffic-related fatalities.
With this in mind, CivicScience asked over 2,000 Americans if they knew how many drinks would push them over the legal blood alcohol content limit for their state. While the majority (57%) of those questioned were aware of how many drinks they would need to consume to be over the limit, an alarming 43% were not.
And men tend to be more aware of how many drinks put them over the limit than women are.
These comparisons naturally led us to investigate the use of rideshare apps by binge and non-binge drinkers, and the results are encouraging. Binge drinkers (both men and women) are much more likely to use rideshare apps than non-binge drinkers. And considering women tend to be less aware of the blood alcohol content limit, it’s a good thing that 55% use rideshare apps.
Ultimately there are more people in the U.S. who do not binge drink than there are who do, but the fact that more than one third of both genders does so at varying frequencies is certainly a safety concern. And, while there are more women binge drinkers than there were two years ago, at least there are more drinkers opting to hail an Uber.