Skip to Content

Do American Adults Drink Too Much? Study Says Yes

WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 -- Middle-aged Americans are hitting the sauce too hard and too often, a new poll shows.

It found that 33% of adults aged 35 to 44 who have at least one drink in a typical week agreed with one or more statements that would prompt an addiction specialist to consider treatment, according to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

Of adults from this age group, 9% said they continue to drink even though it has already harmed their career, education and/or relationships, the online survey of nearly 2,000 people found.

Binge-drinking -- four or more drinks in a two-hour period for women and five or more for men -- is typical behavior for 7% of adults aged 35 to 44 and 10% of adults aged 45 to 54, according to the poll.

"We tend to believe a person is managing alcohol well if they're not an alcoholic," said Dr. Malissa Barbosa, an addiction medicine specialist in Orlando, Fla.

"But what many fail to recognize is the gradual impact the chemical has on the body, as well as the associated disease states," Barbosa said in an AOA news release.

Alcohol harms vital organs, increases the risk of several cancers, and has been linked with mental health problems, memory and thinking declines, and neurological conditions such as nerve pain and movement disorders, according to the association.

"Our culture celebrates excess," Barbosa said. "It's convinced many adults that alcohol is a necessary part of their lifestyle, and that several drinks a night is normal behavior.

"We worry about kids on campus who put themselves in danger, but it's become pervasive among adults, too. It's time for serious conversations about the impact of excessive drinking on all demographics in our society," Barbosa said.

Nine in 10 U.S. adults who drink too much alcohol are not alcoholics or alcohol-dependent, according to a federal government study. Nearly 1 in 3 adults is an excessive drinker, and most of these drinkers binge-drink, usually on multiple occasions.

© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019

Read this next

More Young Adults in the U.S. Are Saying No to Alcohol

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2020 -- In a sign that many young Americans may no longer be boozing it up, a new study finds that fewer young people are drinking alcohol now than 20 years...

Alcohol-Linked Deaths Rise Sharply in Rural America

THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2020 -- In rural America, drinking has become particularly deadly for many, a new government report shows. Deaths related to alcohol use in those regions rose...

Pandemic Has More Americans Turning to Booze

TUESDAY, Sept. 29, 2020 -- Is the coronavirus pandemic driving people to drink? Yes, a new U.S. survey shows, and the greatest spike in alcohol use is being seen in...