Does America Have A Drinking Problem?

FinDroid's picture
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Monkeys, I was just lazing around this evening with a beer in one hand and my mobile in another and suddenly this article from Bloomberg crops up in my feed. It says that Americans are drinking more than they used to and went on to predict that this could cause some dire implications for the country's future health-care costs.

The number of adults who binge drink at least once a week could be as high as 30 million, greater than the population of every state save California, according to a study published on Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry. A similar number reported alcohol abuse or dependency.

Apparently, excess drinking caused double the number of deaths than prescription opioids and heroin last year and the estimated cost of excessive alcohol consumption was almost $250 billion a year in the U.S.

Needless to say, my half-finished bottle of beer went to the trash can not long after it got me thinking. Does America Have A Drinking Problem?

Comments (47)

Best Response
Aug 10, 2017

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as 5 drinks in 2 hours which I consider a warmup.

@DickFuld want to chime in?

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-...

    • 5
Aug 10, 2017
MonkeyBot:

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as 5 drinks in 2 hours which I consider a warmup.

@DickFuld want to chime in?

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-...

Doctors have a strange and twisted view of what constitutes being an alcoholic. They set a very low bar that most people in finance are higher than when it comes to boozing.

    • 2
Aug 12, 2017

This thread will be used as recruiting material for GS SLC.

Aug 10, 2017

This is also because sugar taxes make soda and other bad drinks more expensive than alcohol. Economics.

Aug 10, 2017
George_Banker:

This is also because sugar taxes make soda and other bad drinks more expensive than alcohol. Economics.

He said americans are drinking too much, and you say sugar tax makes drinks more expensive than alcohol.

If the drinks were so expensive, people wouldn't drink them as much, but they are drinking in excess. So your words actually mean nothing.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Aug 10, 2017

You need to hash this out further for me because right now I just think you are an idiot. Think about why you just said my words mean nothing: "drinks are expensive so people wouldn't drink them as much." That is economics, as I pointed out. But the economics here are that people drink when they are thirsty, and since cash resources are scarce, the rational decision is to purchase the cheaper beverage, in this case beer or liquor, rather than the expensive and heavily taxed soda or other flavored beverage.

IF you have limited amounts of money, a rational human buys the best value. IF a coke is twice as much as a beer, you can have two beers for one coke. Excess drinking here is like 4-5 beers a day, so two cokes worth.

This is the same concept that people hit Coke for in third world countries, where their sugary drink is cheaper than clean water, which creates all kinds of health problems. Right now, the incentive is just for alcohol in a developed country, which is also creating all kinds of health problems.

If you look at the article, it shows that more lower class people have increased binge drinking habits since the early 2000s. These are people who are likely on a tighter budget and more likely to watch their spending habits, which means that if they can save a dollar or two they will.

Aug 12, 2017

You didn't read that right.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Aug 10, 2017

Straight from the WSJ today....Philadelphia's Soda Tax Bust

Aug 10, 2017

Where do you live that a bottle of coke is more expensive than a beer??? I can get a 2-liter for $2 here in NYC.

Aug 10, 2017

I don't live there, but check out Philly.

Aug 10, 2017

Taking a guess here, but I would assume Germany, other European countries, and Russia would have cheaper beers than coke. Expect it would be Vodka in Russia.

Aug 12, 2017

It's not that it is dollar for dollar more expensive but rather entertainment value per dollar more expensive. If you get X dollar per beer value and you get X-2 value per coke value. If you raise the cost of coke .2X it might tip the scale of value.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Aug 10, 2017

people think they're binge drinkers if they have 6 beers on a friday night at a yuppie bar... posers

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 4
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Aug 10, 2017

Not sure, but the brits do for sure

    • 1
Aug 10, 2017

Hidden and casual alcoholism is dangerous, especially over longer periods of time. Certain types of alcohol has been romanticized in media, social networks, etc. Wine is a huge one.

If you drink a bottle of wine every day, all year round, you're putting yourself in serious danger. Sure, you may not feel like an alcoholic, and people will probably not see you as one, but your liver will take a beating. Do that for 10-20 year, and before you know it, you have cirrhosis. Same with taking a drink or two during lunch, or after work.

When people think about the classic alcoholic, they see some crippling alcoholic chugging booze in the morning, and sipping on something throughout the day. They don't think about the professional people getting a buzz every evening, or the young people that get smashed 3-4 days a week.

If you have a problem with stopping, then you're probably an alcoholic. Physically, I can agree with the number of drinks : alcoholism correlation. But mentally, it's different. Some people can get hammered once a week, but have absolutely no desire afterwards. Others can't stop.

    • 4
Aug 11, 2017

this.

Aug 10, 2017
FinDroid:

Needless to say, my half-finished bottle of beer went to the trash can

Why would you do this

    • 1
Aug 10, 2017

Right? Reads like a shitty, try-hard Buzzfeed article.

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

Aug 10, 2017
PeterMBA2018:
FinDroid:

Needless to say, my half-finished bottle of beer went to the trash can

Why would you do this

he calls his girlfriend 'the trash can'

its odd, I know

she must have been thirsty

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

    • 1
Aug 11, 2017

The US does indeed have a serious drinking problem...the problem is that Americans don't drink enough

    • 2
Aug 11, 2017

I;m drunk right now

    • 1
Aug 11, 2017

Drinking has an America problem. Boo-yah!

'I'm jacked... JACKED TO THE TITS!!'

Aug 11, 2017

I prefer to judge alcoholics by those who cannot stop. Using that as a metric the number goes down substantially. I have had a few booze hound friends that legitimately had to go to rehab due to the inability to stop because of physical need (one could not digest food without severe pain unless he had a drink, sometimes had issues keeping it down). My friends that have a few every couple nights or every weekend do not have a problem. They can go long stretches with out drinking and have not had any run ins with the law from drinking. They like to let loose. Over the long haul it may take its toll, but not like a true alcoholic. I would guess that the number would be fewer than 5 million if it was brought to a level that was a bit more reasonable than someone who goes out in Saturday.

    • 1
Aug 11, 2017

dgaf yolo

Aug 11, 2017

Yawn. Rather than examine/eliminate all my poor life choices, I prefer to speculate about which will kill me first -- makes for a much more interesting (and equally useless) exercise.

Aug 11, 2017

I am interested in knowing what the numbers look like if binge drinking were redefined in these studies to be more attuned to reality: as in like 6+ unit drinks within an hour.

Probably not as a high, but I bet more than most would expect

Aug 12, 2017

Stop guys you're killing my buzz.

Aug 12, 2017

Drinking isn't that bad compared to other developed countries (i.e. Scotland and South Korea).

Unfortunately, America has a meth and opioid problem.

For anyone thinking Wall Street is immoral, go ahead and read some of the pharma and doctor stories.

Aug 12, 2017

Not sure if this is accurate. Granted I really didn't look up anything. But a DEA agent came to our work to talk about drugs (safety/wellness presentation), this was in 2014. At that time he said that prescription drugs killed more than, heroin, cocaine, alcohol combined.

It has been my experience that American's actually don't drink as much alcohol as in other parts of the world. i.e. Japan, south america, europe, russia, Depends how you slice it. Single binge drinking events...American's may be worse. But consistent drinking I would say American's are average.

Aug 12, 2017

Oh please, come to the UK or Ireland and you'll see what real drinking problems are.

    • 1
Aug 12, 2017

No. UK does tho.

Aug 13, 2017

The problem with America is that no one knows how to drink... You get kids walking in to new student orientation having barely drank more than a beer and all of sudden they're chugging jungle juice, which is particularly bad when you don't know how to drink since the sugar hides the alcohol. European countries don't really have this country because kids are much more used to drinking at a younger age (legal age is 16 in Belgium and Austria for example).

Aug 14, 2017

I think the problem is having "just a couple" pretty much every day of your life. Getting hammered with your friends once or twice a month is one thing. Having a bottle of wine every night with dinner is another.

Aug 10, 2017

i for sure have a drinking problem...

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Aug 14, 2017

Fuck no!

Aug 14, 2017

I mean maybe...only if you look at statistics.

Aug 14, 2017

This thread is making me thirsty....when's the next meetup in nyc?

Nov 1, 2017

No, the UK has a drinking problem.

America has a drug problem.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn