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Young Americans Down Nine Drinks at a Time

Thirty-eight million Americans of all ages binge drink, and young adults are the most extreme.

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Millions of Americans drink to get drunk.
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By Valerie Tejeda

01/11/12

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In a startling new report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 38 million US adults—or one in six—binge drink, typically consuming eight drinks at a sitting around four times a month. Binge drinking is usually considered to be five drinks for men or four drinks for women, over a period of a few hours. Heavy boozers aged 18-34 take it further, downing an average of 9.3 drinks per binge. The study is meant to highlight the dangers. “What we found was that indeed the frequency [of binge drinking] is very high, and the amount consumed was also very high,” says Robert Brewer, the CDC’s alcohol program leader. Health officials blame binge drinking for more than 80,000 deaths each year. It contributes to drunk-driving accidents, violence and health issues like heart disease, liver failure and cancer. The CDC suggests that making changes to how alcohol is sold may help to curb binge drinking in the future.

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