There is no denying that drinking has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But just how bad has it gotten and which areas have been impacted the most? Those are relevant questions and they actually triggered The National Institutes of Health to conduct a regional study on alcoholism across American cities.
USA Today published the Institutes’ findings in a new article, actually breaking apart stats across the 50 states. One city was highlighted for each, representing the area with the highest alcohol consumption. There were also statistics that pointed to to household incomes and overall population. As you can imagine, many of those factors can also play into habits like this (as can the stress of quarantining). Drunk driving stats were presented too, highlighting which cities have the highest percentage of DUI deaths.
One other interesting note is that even before the coronavirus pandemic breakout, drinking had been on the rise across the United States. In fact, the percentage of Americans who consume liquor, wine or beer went up by 60 percent in 2014 and 64 percent in 2019. We can only imagine what that number may be once this year ends.
Looking through stats closely aligned to us, we saw that California had the harshest drinking problem in the city of Santa Cruz. There, 23 percent of adults “drink alcohol excessively.” There was also a 34 percent count for drunk driving deaths in that region. And it is interesting to note that Santa Cruz has a large median income (approximately $86,000), which goes to show that high earners can just as easily fall prey.
California as a whole had 19 percent of adults drinking excessively (which is the 23rd highest across the states). We also had a 29 percent count for drunk driving deaths. For the record, North Dakota had the highest percentage, state-wise, for DUI fatalities.
A populated state like New York had its worst drinking problems in the city of Cheektowaga; which is smaller and more to the north. NY’s excessive drinking percentage was 18 percent, which was just slightly below California. Neighboring states to us like Arizona and Nevada had mixed statistics. Arizona, for example, only had 16 percent of adults drink excessively (with Phoenix being their most alcohol impacted city). Nevada, however, was at 24 percent for excessive drinking, with an alarming 38 percent for drunk driving deaths in its harshest city, Reno.
We actually recommend reading the USA Today article in full, then sharing it with your network. It does a solid job of breaking down each state, to better understand just where these trends are heading.