NEW YORK — Most people who drink to get drunk are not alcoholics, a new report has concluded, suggesting that more can be done to help heavy drinkers cut back.
The finding from the United States National Survey on Drug Use and Health on 138,100 adults showed that nine in 10 people who drink too much are not addicts and can change their behaviour with some prompting.
For men, excessive drinking is having five or more drinks in one sitting, or 15 or more drinks during a week. For women, it is four drinks on one occasion or eight drinks over the course of a week.
Studies have shown that raising the price of an alcoholic beverage by 10 per cent reduces consumption by 7 per cent. Reducing the number of establishments that serve alcohol in a given area can also curb excessive drinking.
Doctors talking to patients about their alcohol consumption has also been shown to help people make better choices.
Advertising campaigns such as a 2010 New York City initiative may also help. In the campaign, posters showed a well-dressed woman slumped and drunk, and a young businessman bleeding and bruised. The posters ended with the tagline: “Stop drinking while you’re still thinking.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
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