Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Delaware Has Nation's 7th Highest Binge Drinking Rate

Today's News Journal reports that the CDC ranks Delaware as having the 7th highest binge drinking rate in the country, at 18.5%.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks within two hours for women, five or more for men.

Binge drinking and alcoholism are responsible for nearly 80,000 deaths each year. Binge drinkers, for the most part, are not addicts.

One reason that binge drinking has not fallen during the past 15 years is because it's not widely recognized as a "risky health behavior," said Tom Frieden, director of the CDC.

Prevention efforts therefore need to focus on awareness of the lifestyle risks, such as car crashes, as well as risky criminal or sexual behaviors. In addition, we should promote alternative choices in activities, so that binge drinking becomes a less attractive option.

Why the rate is so high in Delaware compared to other states is unknown, according to local counselors who have treated binge drinkers.

Why do you think Delaware's rate is so high? What else can be done about this serious public health issue?

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