Trends can be an interesting thing to follow when it comes to addiction. When certain habits shift on a national scale, not only is it cause for concern; it also points to environmental factors that are changing the country’s behavior. A notable trend recently uncovered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) revealed that Americans are now drinking more than 500 alcoholic drinks per year.
For the record, that number is the highest annual consumption count since 1990. U.S. citizens reportedly guzzled more than 2.35 gallons of booze last year. And that was a .9 percent increase over 2016. In fact, the statisticians pointed to an actual timeframe in early 2017 where the drinking numbers shot up (and never seemed to stop).
Whether it had to do with a different presidential administration, the opioid crisis reaching new levels or perhaps changes in the economy, remain to seen. But we certainly advocate the exploration of a national event that set America on this addictive path.
To gather this info, the NIAAA used alcoholic beverage sales data and population info gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau. They also went so far as to rank the top ten states with the heaviest drinking problems.
Most of the rankings fell into the midwest, with Montana, North Dakota and Idaho listing high. Closer to the west coast, Nevada reached number three on the tally, with a total of 3.46 alcoholic gallons per capita. But the state with the highest levels (and by a wide margin) was none other than New Hampshire. Citizens in that region are said to consume roughly 4.76 alcoholic gallons per capita.
Interestingly, our home state of California houses two of the cities with the highest annual alcoholic consumption. San Diego was number three on that list, with an average yearly drinking expenditure cost of $850 per person. San Francisco actually hit number one, with locals there spending about $1,100 on booze each year (granted it is also one of the country’s most expensive cities).
All of these rankings have certainly raised red flags, however. This particular story was picked up by major publications nationwide, including Yahoo News and U.S. News and World Reports. We are definitely eager to see this trend looked into further and continually measured, as Americans face new challenges.
If you or someone you are close to has increased their alcohol consumption over the past several months, make sure the issue is addressed, evaluated and rectified.