Survey Shows SEI Drinking Habits By The Numbers

Posted On July 17, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

beer-pour.jpg(Undated) – Southeast Indiana is average when it comes to the percentage of adults who binge drink.

The Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey asked a number of tri-state residents various health questions last August through January.

Of 380 southeast Indiana adults ages 18 and older surveyed, 19.4 percent reported binge drinking in the 30 days before they were surveyed. That’s behind the overall greater Cincinnati rate of 20.4 percent, but higher than the national average of 17 percent.

The survey defined binge drinking as having five drinks in a matter of hours for men and four drinks for women.

“While drinking in moderation may not affect your health,” says Ann Barnum, Senior Program Officer, Healthy Choices about Substance Use, Interact for Health, “studies show that heavy drinking over time is associated with a range of medical problems including liver, kidney and pancreas disease; cancers; ulcers and digestive problems; premature aging; memory and cognitive problems; and birth defects.”

Those Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland county residents were also asked how harmful they think it is for a person to consume five or more drinks of alcohol once or twice per week. Nearly seven in 10 said they view it as very or somewhat harmful.

Most area residents – 56.7 percent – said they had not had an alcoholic drink at all in the past 30 days. More than nearly 43 percent of southeast Indiana adults had at least one. About 8.1 percent reported heavy drinking in the past month.

The survey found that factors such as age, education, and gender made a difference in tri-state residents’ drinking behavior.

“Results of the CHSS show that as education increases, the percentage of adults in Greater Cincinnati who report drinking in the last 30 days also increases. As age increases, however, the percentage of adults who report drinking in the last month decreases,” says Barnum.

For example, across the greater Cincinnati area 32.6 percent of males reported binge drinking in the past month, compared to 29.3 percent of females.

Among adults above 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, 62 percent reported having a drink in the past month, making them more likely to drink than people living 100 percent and 200 percent FPL (49 percent) and those at or below 100 percent FPL (41 percent).

The survey’s margin of error was +/- 1.5 percent.