Data on Excessive Drinking

Excessive alcohol use is common and costly. Learn more about its impact.

  • Excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking (drinking 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women), heavy drinking (drinking 15 or more drinks per week for men or 8 or more drinks per week for women), and any alcohol use by people younger than 21 or pregnant women.
  • Excessive alcohol use is associated with an increased risk of injuries, chronic diseases such as liver disease and heart disease, several cancers, and poor pregnancy outcomes.
  • According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, more than half of US adults report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. About 16% of adults binge drink and 6% report heavy drinking. Nearly all adults who drink heavily also binge drink.
  • According to the ARDI application, during 2015–2019, excessive alcohol use was responsible for more than 140,000 deaths and 3.6 million years of potential life lost each year, on average. More than 40% of these deaths and half of the years of potential life lost were due to binge drinking.

The prevalence of binge drinking, the number of drinks consumed (intensity), and how often people binge drink (frequency) affect the risk for injury, disease, and death.

State Binge drinking prevalence*,
% (95% CI)
Overall 17.4 (17.2–17.7)
Alabama 13.6 (12.3–15.0)
Alaska 16.0 (14.0–18.3)
Arizona 16.7 (15.2–18.3)
Arkansas 16.0 (14.3–17.9)
California 16.6 (15.7–17.5)
Colorado 19.8 (18.7–20.9)
Connecticut 18.7 (17.4–20.0)
Delaware 18.3 (16.7–20.1)
District of Columbia 22.5 (20.7–24.3)
Florida 17.5 (16.2–19.0)
Georgia 15.1 (14.1–16.1)
Hawaii 20.9 (19.5–22.3)
Idaho 16.0 (14.2–17.8)
Illinois 20.5 (19.1–22.0)
Indiana 17.1 (15.9–18.5)
Iowa 24.5 (23.4–25.6)
Kansas 16.7 (15.7–17.8)
Kentucky 15.8 (14.4–17.4)
Louisiana 18.1 (16.5–19.7)
Maine 19.5 (17.9–21.2)
Maryland 14.5 (13.6–15.5)
Massachusetts 21.1 (19.6–22.6)
Michigan 19.8 (18.7–20.9)
Minnesota 21.7 (20.9–22.5)
Mississippi 13.7 (12.3–15.2)
Missouri 18.9 (17.3–20.6)
Montana 19.7 (18.1–21.5)
Nebraska 22.5 (21.4–23.7)
Nevada 16.0 (14.1–18.1)
New Hampshire 18.3 (16.6–20.2)
New Jersey 14.4 (12.4–16.6)
New Mexico 15.6 (14.2–17.1)
New York 17.6 (16.8–18.4)
North Carolina 15.8 (14.4–17.4)
North Dakota 22.7 (21.1–24.5)
Ohio 17.2 (16.0–18.4)
Oklahoma 13.6 (12.3–15.1)
Oregon 17.0 (15.8–18.3)
Pennsylvania 18.5 (17.2–19.9)
Rhode Island 17.8 (16.1–19.6)
South Carolina 16.3 (15.1–17.5)
South Dakota 22.3 (20.3–24.4)
Tennessee 15.7 (14.1–17.4)
Texas 17.6 (16.1–19.2)
Utah 10.5 ( 9.8–11.3)
Vermont 18.5 (16.9–20.2)
Virginia 16.4 (15.3–17.6)
Washington 15.4 (14.5–16.4)
West Virginia 13.9 (12.5–15.4)
Wisconsin 25.8 (24.1–27.7)
Wyoming 18.5 (16.9–20.2)

Abbreviation: CI=confidence interval.
* Prevalence estimates were age-standardized to the 2000 U.S. Census population.

No. of drinks*(95% CI)
Median 75th Percentile
Overall, unadjusted 5.5 (5.5–5.5) 7.7 (7.6–7.8)
Alabama 5.5 (5.3–5.6) 7.2 (6.5–8.0)
Alaska 5.4 (5.2–5.6) 7.1 (6.0–7.6)
Arizona 5.5 (5.4–5.7) 7.9 (7.3–9.1)
Arkansas 5.6 (5.4–5.8) 9.2 (7.4–9.7)
California 5.5 (5.4–5.6) 7.7 (7.4–8.2)
Colorado 5.6 (5.5–5.7) 7.6 (7.3–7.8)
Connecticut 5.2 (5.1–5.3) 6.5 (6.0–6.9)
Delaware 5.3 (5.0–5.5) 7.3 (6.6–7.8)
District of Columbia 5.2 (5.0–5.4) 6.7 (6.0–7.2)
Florida 5.5 (5.3–5.6) 7.3 (6.9–7.7)
Georgia 5.3 (5.1–5.5) 7.5 (7.1–7.9)
Hawaii 5.7 (5.5–5.8) 9.2 (7.9–9.6)
Idaho 5.8 (5.6–6.1) 9.1 (7.7–9.7)
Illinois 5.7 (5.5–5.8) 9.1 (7.8–9.5)
Indiana 5.6 (5.4–5.8) 9.1 (7.8–9.6)
Iowa 5.8 (5.7–5.9) 9.2 (8.8–9.4)
Kansas 5.6 (5.5–5.7) 7.8 (7.5–9.0)
Kentucky 5.7 (5.5–5.9) 8.8 (7.5–9.4)
Louisiana 5.5 (5.3–5.6) 7.4 (6.7–8.0)
Maine 5.4 (5.2–5.5) 7.1 (6.5–7.8)
Maryland 5.3 (5.2–5.5) 7.0 (6.6–7.3)
Massachusetts 5.4 (5.2–5.5) 7.0 (6.5–7.6)
Michigan 5.6 (5.4–5.7) 7.9 (7.6–9.0)
Minnesota 5.5 (5.4–5.6) 7.7 (7.5–7.9)
Mississippi 5.7 (5.5–5.9) 9.4 (7.8–10.3)
Missouri 5.5 (5.3–5.7) 7.7 (7.1–9.0)
Montana 5.4 (5.3–5.6) 7.3 (6.8–7.8)
Nebraska 5.6 (5.5–5.7) 8.0 (7.6–9.1)
Nevada 5.5 (5.2–5.7) 7.8 (6.7–9.3)
New Hampshire 5.5 (5.3–5.7) 7.6 (6.9–8.3)
New Jersey 5.2 (4.9–5.6) 7.3 (6.3–9.1)
New Mexico 5.5 (5.3–5.7) 7.9 (7.2–9.4)
New York 5.4 (5.3–5.5) 7.1 (6.8–7.4)
North Carolina 5.4 (5.3–5.6) 7.0 (6.4–7.7)
North Dakota 5.9 (5.7–6.3) 9.4 (9.1–9.7)
Ohio 5.7 (5.5–5.8) 8.2 (7.7–9.2)
Oklahoma 5.6 (5.4–5.8) 7.9 (7.2–9.3)
Oregon 5.5 (5.4–5.6) 7.4 (6.9–7.8)
Pennsylvania 5.5 (5.3–5.6) 7.9 (7.4–9.1)
Rhode Island 5.4 (5.1–5.6) 7.2 (6.7–7.7)
South Carolina 5.7 (5.5–5.8) 8.4 (7.7–9.3)
South Dakota 5.7 (5.5–5.9) 7.9 (7.4–9.2)
Tennessee 5.5 (5.3–5.7) 7.6 (6.9–9.1)
Texas 5.6 (5.4–5.8) 9.0 (7.6–9.5)
Utah 5.6 (5.4–5.7) 7.8 (7.4–8.7)
Vermont 5.5 (5.2–5.7) 7.5 (7.0–8.0)
Virginia 5.5 (5.3–5.6) 7.2 (6.8–7.7)
Washington 5.3 (5.1–5.4) 6.8 (6.3–7.2)
West Virginia 6.4 (5.9–7.2) 9.8 (9.2–11.3)
Wisconsin 5.5 (5.4–5.7) 7.5 (7.0–7.9)
Wyoming 5.5 (5.4–5.7) 7.5 (6.8–8.8)

Abbreviation: CI = confidence interval.
* Largest number of drinks consumed on an occasion in the past 30 days among adults who reported binge drinking.

No. of occasions* (95% CI)
Median 75th Percentile
Overall, unadjusted 1.7 (1.7–1.7) 4.0 (3.9–4.1)
Alabama 1.7 (1.5–1.9) 4.0 (3.4–4.6)
Alaska 1.9 (1.4–2.7) 4.4 (3.7–5.1)
Arizona 1.5 (1.3–1.7) 3.8 (3.2–4.3)
Arkansas 1.9 (1.6–2.3) 4.5 (3.8–5.5)
California 1.6 (1.4–1.7) 3.7 (3.4–3.9)
Colorado 1.6 (1.4–1.7) 3.7 (3.4–4.0)
Connecticut 1.6 (1.4–1.7) 3.5 (3.1–3.8)
Delaware 1.7 (1.5–2.0) 4.4 (3.8–5.2)
District of Columbia 1.5 (1.3–1.7) 3.4 (2.9–4.0)
Florida 1.8 (1.6–2.0) 4.9 (4.1–5.8)
Georgia 1.6 (1.5–1.8) 4.1 (3.7–4.5)
Hawaii 1.9 (1.7–2.2) 4.3 (3.9–4.7)
Idaho 2.0 (1.7–2.5) 4.5 (3.9–5.3)
Illinois 1.9 (1.7–2.1) 4.4 (3.9–4.8)
Indiana 1.7 (1.5–1.9) 4.2 (3.7–4.8)
Iowa 1.9 (1.8–2.0) 4.3 (4.0–4.5)
Kansas 1.6 (1.4–1.7) 3.8 (3.5–4.1)
Kentucky 1.9 (1.7–2.4) 5.0 (4.2–6.9)
Louisiana 2.0 (1.7–2.4) 4.7 (4.2–5.5)
Maine 1.8 (1.6–2.0) 4.1 (3.6–4.7)
Maryland 1.6 (1.4–1.8) 3.7 (3.4–4.0)
Massachusetts 1.5 (1.4–1.7) 3.6 (3.2–3.9)
Michigan 1.8 (1.6–1.9) 4.3 (3.9–4.7)
Minnesota 1.5 (1.4–1.6) 3.7 (3.5–3.9)
Mississippi 2.1 (1.8–2.7) 5.4 (4.1–8.8)
Missouri 1.8 (1.6–2.2) 4.8 (4.1–6.1)
Montana 1.6 (1.4–1.8) 4.0 (3.5–4.5)
Nebraska 1.7 (1.6–1.8) 3.9 (3.6–4.3)
Nevada 1.6 (1.3–1.9) 3.7 (2.9–4.5)
New Hampshire 1.5 (1.3–1.8) 4.0 (3.4–4.7)
New Jersey 3.5 (2.9–3.9)
New Mexico 1.8 (1.5–2.1) 4.5 (4.0–5.2)
New York 1.6 (1.5–1.7) 3.7 (3.4–4.0)
North Carolina 1.8 (1.5–2.2) 4.6 (3.9–5.5)
North Dakota 1.8 (1.5–2.0) 4.2 (3.7–4.7)
Ohio 1.9 (1.7–2.2) 4.4 (3.9–4.9)
Oklahoma 1.5 (1.2–1.7) 3.8 (3.0–4.5)
Oregon 1.7 (1.5–1.9) 4.1 (3.6–4.5)
Pennsylvania 1.8 (1.5–2.0) 3.9 (3.6–4.4)
Rhode Island 1.6 (1.4–1.8) 3.8 (3.1–4.4)
South Carolina 1.9 (1.7–2.2) 4.6 (4.1–5.2)
South Dakota 1.7 (1.4–2.1) 4.0 (3.5–4.6)
Tennessee 1.7 (1.4–2.1) 4.4 (3.6–5.2)
Texas 1.8 (1.5–2.0) 4.1 (3.6–4.9)
Utah 1.7 (1.6–1.9) 4.4 (4.0–4.8)
Vermont 1.9 (1.6–2.3) 4.3 (3.7–5.1)
Virginia 1.6 (1.5–1.8) 3.7 (3.4–4.0)
Washington 1.5 (1.4–1.7) 3.6 (3.3–3.9)
West Virginia 1.8 (1.5–2.4) 5.1 (4.3–7.1)
Wisconsin 1.7 (1.5–1.9) 3.8 (3.4–4.3)
Wyoming 1.5 (1.3–1.7) 4.1 (3.5–4.6)

Source: Binge drinking frequency among adults aged ≥18 years who binge drank in the past 30 days, by state — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States,* 2018

Abbreviation: CI = confidence interval.
* Number of binge drinking occasions in the past 30 days among adults who reported binge drinking.
Estimates are unreliable if the relative standard error is >0.3.

The Economic Costs of Excessive Drinking are High

  • Excessive alcohol consumption costexternal icon the United States $249 billion in 2010. This cost amounts to about $2.05 per drink, or about $807 per person.
  • Costs due to excessive drinking largely resulted from losses in workplace productivity (72% of the total cost), health care expenses (11%), and other costs due to a combination of criminal justice expenses, motor vehicle crash costs, and property damage.
  • Excessive alcohol use cost states and DC a median of $3.5 billion in 2010, ranging from $488 million in North Dakota to $35 billion in California.
  • Binge drinking was responsible for about three-quarters (77%) of the cost of excessive alcohol use in all states and DC.
  • About $2 of every $5 of the economic costs of excessive alcohol use were paid by federal, state, and local governments.
Location Total Cost ($) Cost per drink ($) Cost per capita ($)
Alabama 3,724,300,000 2.27 779
Alaska 827,200,000 2.25 1,165
Arizona 5,946,400,000 2.27 930
Arkansas 2,073,300,000 2.27 711
California 35,010,600,000 2.44 940
Colorado 5,056,500,000 2.14 1,005
Connecticut 3,029,000,000 2.04 847
Delaware 803,800,000 1.64 895
District of Columbia 918,400,000 2.14 1,526
Florida 15,322,200,000 1.82 815
Georgia 6,930,900,000 2.12 715
Hawaii 937,400,000 1.58 689
Idaho 1,137,900,000 1.62 726
Illinois 9,715,700,000 1.86 757
Indiana 4,468,200,000 1.96 689
Iowa 1,933,600,000 1.59 635
Kansas 2,075,800,000 2.18 728
Kentucky 3,194,500,000 2.36 736
Louisiana 3,801,400,000 1.91 839
Maine 938,700,000 1.58 707
Maryland 4,964,700,000 2.22 860
Massachusetts 5,634,600,000 1.93 861
Michigan 8,161,700,000 2.10 826
Minnesota 3,886,400,000 1.74 733
Mississippi 2,277,400,000 2.05 768
Missouri 4,603,600,000 1.83 769
Montana 870,800,000 1.73 880
Nebraska 1,166,500,000 1.61 639
Nevada 2,296,300,000 1.49 850
New Hampshire 959,900,000 0.92 729
New Jersey 6,175,200,000 1.70 702
New Mexico 2,232,900,000 2.77 1,084
New York 16,330,200,000 2.28 843
North Carolina 7,034,200,000 2.11 738
North Dakota 487,600,000 1.40 725
Ohio 8,519,800,000 2.10 739
Oklahoma 3,081,200,000 2.49 821
Oregon 3,520,200,000 2.08 919
Pennsylvania 9,544,200,000 1.92 751
Rhode Island 886,500,000 1.82 842
South Carolina 3,982,900,000 2.13 861
South Dakota 598,200,000 1.59 735
Tennessee 4,683,800,000 2.25 738
Texas 18,820,600,000 1.99 748
Utah 1,636,100,000 2.74 592
Vermont 513,000,000 1.66 820
Virginia 6,126,000,000 2.06 766
Washington 5,805,100,000 2.23 863
West Virginia 1,334,900,000 2.20 720
Wisconsin 4,452,900,000 1.62 783
Wyoming 593,100,000 2.33 1,052

Bohm MK, Liu Y, Esser MB, Mesnick JB, Lu H, Pan Y, Greenlund KJ. Binge Drinking Among Adults, by Select Characteristics and State — United States, 2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1441–1446.

Sacks JJ, Gonzales KR, Bouchery EE, Tomedi LE, Brewer RD. 2010 National and State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumptionexternal iconAm J Prev Med 2015; 49(5):e73–e79.