According to data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, as compiled in Philip J. Cook's book, Paying the Tab , 24 million Americans are getting way more turnt up than everyone else. These are the top 10% of American drinkers surveyed, and they consume 74 drinks every week, which pats out to a little more than 10 drinks a day. That puts your nightly glass of wine in perspective, right?
The study addresses the lighter drinkers among us as well and had some surprising results — even if you only have one drink per day, you are still in the top 30% of American drinkers. To put these numbers into perspective, those who don't drink at all round out the bottom 30%.
That being said, Cook's calculations bring something that's more pressing to light. About 24% of Americans said they'd engaged in binge drinking in the past month, while about 7% more said they had drank "heavily." So, even if we don't average 18 bottles of wine a week, more people admit to drinking to excess from time to time.
Both of these groups — heavy drinkers and binge drinkers — raise health concerns, though binge drinking takes a more immediate toll. A single episode of excessive drinking can garner adverse health effects.
The Washington Post recently published a chart that visualized data from Cook's book. Check it out for more food for thought on American drinking habits.