Heavy drinking is among the most dangerous of habits. The CDC reports that it is among the four major risk factors for chronic disease, joining tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and poor nutrition. The CDC labels it “excessive alcohol” use. In the U.S., the health effects kill about 50,000 Americans a year.
Alcohol use varies considerably from geographic area to geographic area. 24/7 Tempo research shows that Utah is the state with the fewest heavy drinkers. Wisconsin tops the list. People who binge or drink heavily are 271.% of the adult population.
Heavy drinking also varies considerably from nation to nation. The Guardian recently named Australia as “the drunkest country in the world”. The paper reported that “Australians got drunk an average of 27 times a year, almost double the global average.”
The observation is based on a huge piece of research. Global Drug Survey (GDS) is based in London. It has done annual reports on alcohol and drug use since 2012. It has just issued its 2021 report. Over the course of the years the study has been conducted about 900,000 people have been part of the research.
The report covers 22 countries. Almost all are part of the developed world. Among the 15 “top drugs used”, the survey shows alcohol use is the highest by far at 92% of those queried. The alcohol section of the report is based on 27,056 respondents.
One of the two categories of drinking measured was number of days a year people in a country had one drink of more. France topped this list at 132, followed by New Zealand at 120, and The Netherlands at 112. These are against a global figure of 100. The figure for the U.S. was 83.
The other measure of drinking is what the researchers called “felling drunk”. They wrote is:
We defined drunk as ‘having drunk so much that your physical and mental faculties are impaired to the point where your balance / speech was affected, you were unable to focus clearly on things and that your conversation and behaviours were very obviously different to people who know you’.
The global average was 14.6 times a year. Australia, at the top, was nearly twice that figure at 26.7. It was followed by Denmark at 23.8 which was the same as Finland. The U.S. was next at 23.1.