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December 26, 2016

Binge drinkers in Pennsylvania outnumber those in New Jersey

'Tis the season for tradition, and for many, those traditions involve – if not center around – alcohol consumption.

We're looking at you, Pennsylvanians. Remember last month when you all rushed to the Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and crashed the stores' credit card payment system? That happened. It was the day before Thanksgiving, which is the second-highest volume sales day for the state stores behind only New Years Eve, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Perhaps it is not surprising then that Pennsylvania ranks among the top third of states according to prevalence of binge drinkers. According statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, 18.5 percent of Pennsylvanians who are at least 18 years old drink to excess.

New Jersey falls in the middle of the pack with 17 percent of residents labeled as binge drinkers, and in Delaware – a relative bunch of teetotalers with 15.8 percent of residents who binge drink – ranks among the bottom third of states.

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The CDC defines excessive drinking as the consumption of five or more drinks on an occasion for men and 4 or more drinks for women or drinking 15 or more drinks per week for men, or 8 or more drinks per week for women.

Excessive drinking is associated with an increased risk of many health problems, such as liver disease and unintentional injuries, the CDC reports. Between 2006–2010, excessive alcohol use was responsible for an 88,000 deaths per year. That includes 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults between 20-64 years old, and 2.5 million years of potential life lost.

The state with the lowest incidence of binge drinking is Tennessee at 10.9 percent, and the highest is North Dakota at 24.9 percent.

If you feel like you may be drinking too much, lookout for warning signs and symptoms, like constantly feeling fatigued and the urge to drink alcohol when stressed. Read more signs you could be drinking alcohol too often here.

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