Binge Drinking and Drug Use Soar in America
Binge drinking in the United States is a problem that continues to get grow. Not only does 23 percent of the population exceed the regular amount of daily drinks, but also many of the 23 percent are not even of legal age to consume. About 8 percent of underage drinkers illegally get drunk every week.
The Risks of Binge Drinking
In a recent study of states with the highest amount of binge drinkers, North Dakota took first place at 29.7 percent, while the District of Columbia followed in at 29.96 percent. Other states rounding out the top five are Wisconsin, Iowa, and Rhode Island. The state with the lowest percentage of binge drinkers is Utah with 14 percent. The average number across the United States is 23.4 percent.
Studies have shown that binge drinking can lead to many health problems. The risk of heart disease and diabetes are much higher, not to mention all the extra calories that are added to your body. If a woman finishes a bottle of wine in one sitting, that bottle can add up to four inches around the waist. The same habit for men can add up to two extra inches.
Drug Abuse Trends
While binge drinking is increasing at a high rate, another problem that is burdening the U.S. is the use of illicit drugs. In a recent report, it was found that in the past month, 6.4 percent of Americans and 10.8 percent in the past year have used marijuana.
When each individual state was looked at, it was discovered that Alaska had the highest rate of illicit drugs used in America at 13.5, and Rhode Island followed close behind with 12.6 percent. Vermont, Oregon, and Hawaii were also in the top five. The state with the lowest number of illicit drug users was Iowa with 5.29 percent. The average among all of the states is a staggering 8.3 percent.
In another report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it was shown that since the rates of drug use and binge drinking have risen, so has the rate of mental health disorders. Nearly 9 percent of all Americans have become dependent on illegal drugs or alcohol. In Americans over the age of 18, it was also reported that fewer than 5 percent have had a severe mental illness. Rhode Island is leading the count with 7.2 percent. Following are Hawaii and South Dakota, with the lowest reported numbers at 3.5 percent.
Illegal drugs are becoming such a big problem that tobacco is being seen as less risky. Smoking and tobacco use have fallen in the past two years, from 9.5 percent to now only 9 percent. Unfortunately more dangerous drugs, like cocaine and prescription drugs are becoming more of a problem and need greater attention and treatment.