DETROIT (WWJ) – Folks in the Midwest are getting a reputation — for excessive drinking. According to a report in 24/7Wall St. the Midwest accounts for some of the highest concentrated excessive drinking — with Michigan coming in at number 10.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) include binge drinking and heavy drinking in their definition of excessive alcohol consumption. If you’re a woman — four or more drinks in a sitting puts you in the category for binge drinking and it’s five or more drinks in that setting for men.

Besides the immediate effects of excessive drinking, which can include confusion, euphoria, lack of restraint (think office party) or aggression (think … any mean drunk), nausea and hangover — there are long-term effects which shorten life span and increase the odds you’ll die from obesity or certain cancers.

The habit claims nearly 90,000 lives each year, according to the CDC. And those who die as the result of alcohol abuse do so 30 years prematurely, on average.

There are 30 alcohol related deaths on the roadways every day according to the CDC.

Of the 25 states with the highest excessive drinking rates, 14 have median annual household incomes that exceed the national figure of $57,617. Of the 10 states drinking the least, nine have median household incomes below the national median. One potential reason for this relationship is the fact that alcohol is expensive says 24/7Wall St.

24/7 Wall St. crunched the numbers from the CDC to identify the states reporting the highest levels of adults who binge drink or drink heavily. Here are the results:

50. Tennessee
49. West Virginia
48. Utah
47. Alabama
46. Mississippi
45. New Mexico
44. Oklahoma
43. North Carolina
42. Arkansas
41. Idaho
40. Maryland
39. Nevada
38. Arizona
37. Kentucky
36. South Carolina
35. Delaware
34. Indiana
33. Georgia
32. Kansas
31. Texas
30. Virginia
29. Florida
28. Wyoming
27. New Jersey
26. Missouri
25. South Dakota
24. Washington
23. Rhode Island
22. California
21. Pennsylvania
20. New York
19. New Hampshire
18. Connecticut
17. Louisiana
16. Oregon
15. Colorado
14. Ohio
13. Massachusetts
12. Vermont
11. Maine

10. Michigan
—Adults drinking excessively: 20.0%
—Alcohol-related driving deaths: 29.4% (16th lowest)
—Adults in fair or poor health: 16.8% (20th highest)
—Drunkest metro area: Lansing-East Lansing, MI

Some 20 percent of adults drink to excess in Michigan, more than the comparable national share of 18 percent. Typically, states with higher rates of adults who binge or heavily drink are wealthier and are more likely to report better health outcomes. Michigan is an exception with a below average median household income and worse health outcomes than most states.

9. Nebraska
8. Hawaii
7. Iowa
6. Minnesota
5. Illinois
4. Montana
3. Alaska
2. Wisconsin
1. North Dakota

—Adults drinking excessively: 24.7%
—Alcohol-related driving deaths: 46.7% (the highest)
—Adults in fair or poor health: 13.4% (9th lowest)
—Drunkest metro area: Fargo, ND-MN

The state with the highest share of adults drinking excessively is North Dakota, with nearly 25 percent of adults reporting binge drinking or drinking heavily. Not surprisingly, the state with the highest drinking rate also has the highest rate of alcohol-related driving deaths. A total of 46.7 percent of all roadway fatalities are attributable to alcohol consumption, much higher than the national share of 30.0 percent.

Drinking excessively on a regular basis is not healthy. Still, 13.4 percent of adults report they are in fair or poor health, despite the state’s above average obesity and smoking rates.


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