DC Has One of the Country’s Highest Binge-Drinking Rates

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control says binge drinking is a bigger problem that previously thought.

This map shows the percentage of adults who binge drink. Map Ilustration courtesy of Centers for Disease Control.

Back in September, we clinked glasses and were smug with pride when DC was ranked first in wine consumption. However, new numbers released today show that the District may actually have a big drinking problem.

In this week’s Vital Signs report, the Centers for Disease Control said binge drinking in the US is worse than previously thought, with rates highest in DC, the Midwest, New England, Alaska, and Hawaii. A total of 38 million US adults binge drink.

The CDC defines binge drinking as having five or more alcoholic drinks in a short period of time for men, and four or more for women.

On average, DC residents consume six drinks in a short time. While most binge drinkers fall between the ages of 18 and 34, the age group that binge drinks most frequently consists of those age 65 and up.

Binge drinking is a costly problem, especially since those who binge drink the most (five times a month) make less than $25,000. The CDC says that in 2006, binge drinking cost each person $746 and the economy $223.5 billion.

Click here to read the CDC’s full report.