The study was based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. It found that 11.1 percent of district adults are "heavy drinkers," which the study defines as men who drink more than two drinks and women who drink more than one daily. Vermont followed closely behind DC at 9.1 percent, while Wisconsin ranked at 8.9 percent, Maine at 8.6 percent and the territory of Guam at 8.3 percent. The states with the lowest percentage of heavy drinkers include West Virginia, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Mississippi and the territory of Puerto Rico.
The nation's capital also took the lead for binge drinkers at 25.5 percent of its adult population, followed by North Dakota at 24.8 percent. The study labels binge drinkers as men who had five or more drinks and women who had four or more drinks on at least one occasion during the last month. As with the heavy drinkers, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Utah and Puerto Rico were all found to have the lowest percentage of binge drinkers, too.
DC ranks number two among US states and territories for its population of adult drinkers. Wisconsin topped the "highest percentage of drinkers" list at 67.3 percent, followed by DC at 65.9 percent, New Hampshire at 64.3 percent, Vermont at 64.0 percent and Minnesota at 63.7 percent. The states with the lowest percentage of drinkers include, once again, Puerto Rico, Utah, West Virginia, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
The study also reveals that roughly one in every eight Americans is struggling with alcohol abuse. The short-term effects of alcohol abuse are serious enough, but the long-term risks can be deadly. Excessive drinking has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.