Just in time to head off accusatory comments at the Thanksgiving table, results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicate that heavy drinkers are not all alcoholics, thank you very much. In fact, nine out of ten people who throw back too much are not addicted to the sauce. Take that, concerned relatives. From the New York Times:
Excessive drinking is defined as drinking too much at one time or over the course of a week. For men, it’s having five or more drinks in one sitting or 15 drinks or more during a week. For women, it’s four drinks on one occasion or eight drinks over the course of a week. Underage drinkers and women who drink any amount while pregnant also are defined as “excessive drinkers.”
Surprisingly, about 29 percent of the population meets the definition for excessive drinking, but 90 percent of them do not meet the definition of alcoholism. That’s good news because it means excessive drinking may be an easier problem to solve than previously believed.
Join me in a sigh of relief, won’t you? And on that “15 drinks during a week” part… are we talking a work week, or a full seven-day week? Because I can put that away during a good brunch some days.