To encourage adults to reflect upon their own drinking habits during April’s Alcohol Awareness Month, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment checked in with American adults about their alcohol consumption.
According to Gateway Foundation’s 2012 American Alcohol Consumption Study conducted online in February among 2,265 adults ages 21 and over by Harris Interactive, drinking in America appears to be more of the rule rather than exception.
When asked if they ever drink alcohol, a mass majority (73%) of American adults ages 21 and older confirmed they do drink.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the federal government indicates nearly 23 million Americans have already crossed the threshold of needing treatment for alcohol or drug abuse and only 3 million got it.
By raising awareness about moderate drinking and the long-term impact of alcohol abuse, Gateway Foundation aims to help people confronted with alcohol or drug abuse issues understand the potential health risks and get the treatment they need to live healthier and more productive lives.
Bearing in mind the USDA moderate drinking guidelines—up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women—Gateway Foundation’s study answers questions about the frequency and amount of alcohol adults typically drink and identifies some areas of concern.
To help illustrate the state of current alcohol consumption among Americans, the study asks adults how many drinks they have per drinking occasion. The most popular response at 27% is two drinks per occasion, which is within moderate drinking guidelines for men. The flip side, nearly one out of 10 (8%) indicated they drink four or five drinks per drinking event.
“Most people can have a couple drinks and be fine; but for some people, drinking alcoholic beverages creates a strong craving for more,” says Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Dr. Phil Welches. “For example, when a person consistently drinks four to five drinks a couple nights a week and experiences blackouts and frequent hangovers, it is possible that a drinking problem is developing.”
The full results of the survey can be found here.