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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alcohol Consumption On The Rise

Alcohol, while legal, is still extremely harmful to one’s health and many people are unaware of this fact. More alcohol is consumed in the United States than any other mind altering substance often leading to people’s relaxed view of the dangers associated with alcohol. Most people are exposed to alcohol at a fairly young age either by family or friends; it is often hard for teenagers and young adults to see the harm with drinking, especially since most of their peers consume alcohol.

A new poll has shown that alcohol consumption is on the rise in the United States, although drinking preferences are different depending on which region of the country you are in, according to USA Today. A 2010 Gallup Poll showed that alcohol use was at a 25-year high, 67 percent of Americans claimed that they drink alcohol.

There are a number of factors associated with the apparent rise in active drinkers. The economy has a huge role in the spike, with high unemployment rates across the country and mass home foreclosures, there are many people who are using alcohol to deal with the hard times. There is also another sector of drinkers who have lost their jobs and are finding that they have more time to drink, Jon Taffer, a bar consultant, told USA Today

The people of New England, the far West and Upper Plains states drink the most, while those living in the Deep South and Mid-Atlantic, except for Washington D.C., drink the least, according to the Beer Institute. New Hampshire residents consumed more alcohol per person than any other state — more than double the national average.

Wine consumption is perhaps the most popular drink these days, an average of 2.3 gallons apiece in 2010, up 35 percent since 1994. In the same period, spirit consumption rose 18 percent, to 1.5 gallons per person, while beer drinking dropped 7 percent, to 20.7 gallons per person, reports the Beer Institute.

Alcohol is highly addictive and it does not take much prolonged drinking for a problem to develop. People need to keep in mind that alcohol is not a healthy coping mechanism and if problem drinking occurs help should be sought out.

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