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  1. Risky Drinking: A Significant Public Health Problem • Almost four percent of adults are alcohol dependent (alcoholic). Another 25% are not dependent but drink in ways that put themselves and others at risk of harm.a,b • Everyone who engages in risky drinking is drinking too much, even if they have not yet begun to experience harm. For some people, any drinking at all is risky.c • One common type of risky drinking is binge drinking—when women consume 4 or more drinks or men consume 5 or more drinks on a single occasion. More than 38 million American adults binge drink an average of 4 times a month. Moreover, on average they drink 8 drinks per occasion.d • Risky drinking causes more than 80,000 deaths each year.d Types of Drinkers Prevalence in U.S. (2004) <4% Risky Dependent Risky Nondependent 25% Moderate and Abstaining 71% Drinker’s Pyramida,b What are the health and social effects of risky drinking? Drinking too much on a single occasion can result in intoxication and the immediate risks listed below. Drinking too much over a longer period of time injures cells in tissues throughout the body and can result in the long-term risks listed below. Further, risky drinking afgects more than the drinker; it is associated with intimate partner violence, child abuse, crime, and is the largest single cause of lost productivity in the workplace. IMMEDIATE RISKS LONG-TERM RISKS ➤ gastric distress ➤ chronic depression ➤motor vehicle crashes ➤unprotected sex (leading to sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy) ➤ hypertension ➤ neurologic damage ➤pedestrian injuries ➤ cardiovascular disease ➤ fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (which include physical, behavioral, and learning disabilities) ➤drowning ➤ permanent liver damage ➤falls ➤assaults and sexual assaults ➤intimate partner violence ➤ cancer ➤child abuse and neglect ➤ pancreatitis ➤depressed mood ➤ diabetes ➤homicide & suicide ➤property crimes ➤ alcoholism ➤unintended fjrearm injuries ➤fjres ➤alcohol poisoning What is the cost of risky drinking? Each year, risky drinking in the U.S. costs $223.5 billion. Tiat’s more than smoking ($193 billion) or physical inactivity ($150 billion). Tie costs of risky drinking cut across many aspects of the U.S. economy. Costs of Risky Drinkinge (nearest million) $2,577,000,000 Fire and Property Damage $4,961,000,000 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome $13,718,000,000 Motor Vehicle Crashes $20,973,000,000 Criminal Justice $22,018,000,000 Health Care $159,232,000,000 Lost Productivity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  2. What’s a Standard Drink?a A standard drink in the United States is any drink that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol (about 0.6 fmuid ounces or 1.2 tablespoons). Below are U.S. standard drink equivalents. Tiese are approximate, since difgerent brands and types of beverages vary in their actual alcohol content. 12 oz. 8.5 oz 5 oz. 3.5 oz. 2.5 oz. 1.5 oz. 1.5 oz. 12 oz. of beer or cooler 8-9 oz. of malt liquor 5 oz. of table wine 3-4 oz. of fortifjed wine 2-3 oz. of cordial, liqueur, or aperitif 1.5 oz. of brandy 1.5 oz. of spirits a single jigger a single jigger of 80-proof gin, vodka, whiskey, etc. 8.5 oz. shown in a 12-oz. glass that, if full, would hold about 1.5 standard drinks of malt liquor such as sherry or port 2.5 oz. shown 3.5 oz. shown Shown straight and in a highball glass with ice to show level before adding mixer* Many people don’t know what counts as a standard drink and so they don’t realize how many standard drinks are in the containers in which these drinks are ofuen sold. Some examples: For beer the approximate number of standard drinks in For malt liquor the approximate number of standard drinks in For table wine the approximate number of standard drinks in For 80-proof spirits or “hard liquor” the approximate number of standard drinks in 12 oz. = 1 12 oz. = 1.5 a standard 750 mL (25 oz.) bottle = 5 a mixed drink = 1 or more* 16 oz. = 1.3 16 oz. = 2 a pint (16 oz.) = 11 22 oz. = 2 22 oz. = 2.5 a fjfth (25 oz.) = 17 40 oz. = 3.3 40 oz. = 4.5 1.75 L (59 oz.) = 39 *Note: It can be diffjcult to estimate the number of standard drinks in a single mixed drink made with hard liquor. Depending on factors such as the type of spirits and the recipe, a mixed drink can contain from one to three or more standard drinks. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention