Drinking Habits in the U.S.

Bar room buddies. Ladies night outs. Champagne supernovas. From the movies, TV shows, hit songs, Rich Kids of Instagram pics and other E! News Stories, you’d think that our culture has a major drinking problem. As somebody who likes to have fun, that might not bother you. But if you’re somebody who’s making hiring decisions and upholding an alcohol-free workplace policy, you might think otherwise.

But how true are those stories coming from Hollywood, and do they really apply to YOU and people in YOUR area? Does everyone get drunk each night and come to work with a hangover? Do most Americans have a drinking problem?

Statistics of U.S. Drinkers

A 2012 Gallup poll reflects the actual drinking habits of those in the U.S:

Drinking habits in the U.S. in 2012: Amount of drinks consumed in the past week

In July 2012, adults 18 years and older were surveyed to find out how many drinks they had consumed within the past seven days. Thirty-four percent of respondents had not taken ONE drink. The majority of respondents – 52% had consumed one to seven drinks in a week. Seven percent of individuals had consumed 8-19 drinks in a week and only 5% had consumed 20 or more drinks. (We’re hopeful that the majority of the respondents who answered ZERO were between the ages of 18-20!)

Most U.S. Adults Drink Responsibly

The study shows that while TV and Hollywood may make it seem like most people party all night and go to work hungover the next day – that’s not what’s actually happening across our country. Over 30% of individuals did not even have ONE drink during the week and OVER 50% have, on average, one drink or LESS each day. Sure, there’s a small percentage who drink in excess as depicted by the survey – but for the most part, it appears as though U.S. adults have a handle on their drinking.

If you’re overseeing a workplace with a strict alcohol policy, take comfort in these statistics. And although it appears as though most adults are handling alcohol responsibly, never hesitate to prove it through aggressive alcohol screening in your workplace should the need arise.

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