ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It used to be believed that moderate drinking could be healthier than binging. It wasn’t long, though, before the studies making those assertions were exposed as flawed; it is a known fact that any level of alcohol consumption is bad for your health. Of course, maintaining good health has never been the reason drinkers drink, so research that showed alcohol’s harmful effects was unlikely to deter consumers from their habit.
Most people who start drinking at the age of 21 continue to do so for a lifetime, and for many, that is in a literal sense. A survey of 3,255 respondents over 21 by American Addiction Centers revealed that over one in four drinkers in New York State (27%) admit they’ve never taken a prolonged break from alcohol since reaching the legal drinking age. This compares to a national average of 19%.
Excessive drinking can have a negative health impact and can hurt the wallet just as badly. Taking a break from alcohol can have a positive effect, with studies showing that regular drinkers who abstain from alcohol for a period of time have more energy, better sleeping habits, and improved brain function. After a long-term period of abstinence, it can also reduce the risks of developing cancer and heart disease.
Broken down by state, studies showed that Minnesotans go the longest without a break from booze, with 32% of drinkers admitting they had never taken an alcohol break. Comparatively, that number was the lowest in Delaware, where a majority of people had taken a break from the bottle after hitting that magical age of 21- only 7% said they didn’t. Check out this infographic from American Addictions Centers for nationwide data.
The average drinker also admitted that they could only drink for two days in a row before starting to feel unwell. Aside from the hangover associated with drinking two days in a row, over time, excessive drinking can weaken your immune system. Drinking excessively just once also reduces your body’s ability to ward off infections all the way up to 24 hours after consuming alcohol.
The data from this survey was taken from Google Surveys. Google Surveys uses a two-step process to ensure each survey’s representativeness. First, they use stratified sampling to dynamically target respondents with the goal of matching target demographics. Then, they apply post-stratification weighting to more closely match those same demographics of the target internet population.