The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recently released a study that shows drastic increases in drinking overall and problem drinking just in the first decade of this century. Now, to briefly jump into the nitty-gritty about the natty daddies for anyone interested, via Fortune:
About 12.6 percent of adults reported risky drinking during the previous year in 2012-13, compared with 9.7 percent in 2001-02. Behavior was considered high-risk if people exceeded the government’s daily limits for alcohol intake, set at four drinks in one day for women and five drinks for men, at least once a week . . . it represents roughly 7 million more people binge drinking at least once a week.
The reported increases were greatest among minorities and women, as well as individuals of lower socioeconomic status. Additionally, the researchers believe that fallout from the economy taking a shit in ‘08 and alcohol being its cheapest, in terms of average income, since 1950 may be some of the many factors that are contributing to this national campaign of hedonism.
Side note, though: Is it just me or do the government definitions of risky drinking set the bar painfully low? I mean, five drinks or more in one day in one week? That’s cute. I remember when I couldn’t finish a six pack. Get back to me when you’re measuring at least benchwarmer level varsity numbers like 12+ drinks in one sitting.
This study may sound like a welcome pat on the back for our valiant efforts in bars, liquor stores, and house parties across the country, but I think we can do better. The researchers say that there haven’t been increases in drinking like this in decades, and that underage drinking is not a major contributor. Therefore, it has been us and our parents who’ve made this 3% bump possible. But, if we’re to bring this country back to the glory of the ale-swilling patriots that the founding fathers intended, we still have a long road ahead of us..