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-- More adults in the U.S. appear to be drinking alcohol, according to a new study of the nation's drinking habits.
And the trend seems to be consistent across ethnic groups and genders. Between 1992 and 2002, the percentage of men and women who drank alcohol increased, as did the percentage of whites, blacks, and Hispanics, the study found.
Americans don't seem to be drinking more, however, as the average number of drinks consumed per month remained steady.
"More people are drinking, but they seem to not be drinking heavily as frequently," says Rhonda Jones-Webb, an epidemiologist and alcohol expert at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in Minneapolis. (Jones-Webb was not involved in the research.)
Yet the study revealed an important exception to that trend: an uptick in the number of people who binge drink at least once a month. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks in one day.
Self medicating or purely social drinking? I'm not surprised that more people are drinking; trying to take the rough edges off the increasingly chaotic and unfriendly environment we currently find ourselves in.