Sad Fact: We’re Drinking More Than We Think We Are

people drinking more and know lessWe know that drinking alcohol clouds judgement. It also clouds memory, and particularly the memory of how much we and those around us drink.

For proof, let’s turn to a recent survey by Alcoholic.org, a site dedicated to alcoholism awareness and information. The site did a survey of more than 2000 participants to find out the gap between how people drank and how they thought people drank. The results are revealing.

Binge Drinking: More Common Than You Thought

One thing the survey found out was that many people binge drink without realizing it. Binge drinking is defined as four or five drinks within a few hours, for women and men respectively. Respondents claimed they didn’t binge drink but then admitted to drinking at those high rates.

Moreover, people are unaware of how many others binge drink in the US. Respondents estimated that only 1 in 8 or 10 people drank that heavily, while in 1 person in 6 binge drinks.

Drinking During Pregnancy

One frightening fact, noted in the summary already known before the survey, is that about 10 percent of pregnant women drink. Respondents guessed the number to be five percent. Given the risks of fetal alcohol syndrome, either number is scary.

Who Drinks Most? Not Who You Think

This might surprise everyone. The overwhelming majority of respondents thought that young people would be the most frequent binge drinkers, but in fact it’s adults 65 or older.

They also felt that poorer people – those making $26,000 to $39,000 per year – would be the heaviest drinkers, followed by those making even less. In fact, those earning more than $75,000 yearly tend to drink the most.

Why is this important? Because alcohol kills – through drunk driving, through health problems, and in other ways too. Only by knowing who is doing the heavy drinking can we address the problem of reducing it and saving lives.