Risky drinking is on the rise in the United States, according to a study of more than 34,000 adults. Researchers found that 40 percent of American adults are drinking amounts that compromise their health in some way, according to a study in the journal Substance Use. And this is a nearly 10 percent increase from 2014, when researchers discovered that one in three adults drank heavily.
Researcher Dr. Richard Saitz, of the Boston University School of Public Health, hopes these findings will encourage individuals to reexamine their drinking habits. According to Inverse, Saitz and his team suggest drawing two lines in the sand when monitoring drinking habits: a weekly maximum that hovers at 14 drinks per week for men and seven for women and a nightly basis of four drinks for men and three for women. Exceeding these limits is “at-risk use,” noted the researches.
“The majority of people who are drinking too much don’t have alcohol use disorder,” Saitz told Inverse. But it is enough to cause serious short- and long-term health effects. This includes a high risk for injury.
What’s more, risky drinking can easily become a habit that’s hard to break, Saitz warns. According to the study, 73 percent of people who had established “risky drinking” patterns stayed that way over the next three years. “They’ve fallen into a pattern,” Saitz told Inverse. “Maybe they haven’t seen a reason to change it, so it persists.”
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