Report Shows Drinking in America is on the Rise – Researchers reported Thursday that heavy drinking is on the rise in many parts of the US, up more than 17 percent since 2005.
The rates are rising faster among women than among men. The analysis showed rates of binge drinking spiked by 17.5 percent among women between 2005 and 2012 but went up just 4.9 percent among men. But there’s a big difference county by county, the statistics show. In some counties, more than a third of the residents are binge drinkers and more than 20 percent are heavy drinkers.
Researchers attribute the rise to three factors: socioeconomic status, availability, and social norms. Among the people who are educated and have the means to drink will drink regularly. Those with lower education tend to binge drink. With more stores selling alcohol and bars next to each other, people have easier access to alcohol, and also tend to go from one bar to another and drink more. Friends and family who drink can influence you to drink, whether to celebrate or commiserate.
The hardest-drinking US county is Menominee County, Wisconsin. Heavy drinkers are setting themselves up for liver disease and many forms of cancer, while binge drinkers can see not only health effects but damage to their jobs, marriages and friendships — not to mention the risk of vehicle accidents.