Excessive drinking claims the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year and is responsible for about 1 in every 10 deaths among working age adults. Alcohol abuse also takes a heavy economic toll. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. economy an estimated $250 billion in 2010 — primarily in lost productivity, medical bills, and motor vehicle accidents.
Excessive alcohol consumption, according to the CDC, includes binge drinking — defined as four or more drinks in a single occasion for women and five or more for men — and heavy drinking, which is defined as at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.
An estimated 18% of American adults drink excessively. However, binge and heavy drinking rates are not uniform across the country and can vary greatly from state to state and city to city. Across U.S. metro areas, excessive drinking rates range from fewer than 1 in every 10 adults to more than 1 in every 4 adults.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the CDC to identify the metropolitan areas reporting the highest levels of binge and heavy drinking in each state.