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Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with many health and societal problems including chronic diseases, unintentional injuries, and violence. In 2010, the estimated economic cost of excessive drinking in the U.S. was $249 billion (Sacks et al., 2015).
Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21 (CDC ).
Binge drinking, the most common form of drinking, is defined as consuming five or more drinks during a single occasion for men or four or more drinks during a single occasion for women.
Heavy drinking is defined as consuming fifteen or more drinks per week for men or eight or more drinks per week for women.
Most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent (Esser et al., 2014).
Underage drinking is considered a form of excessive drinking because it is both illegal and often involves consumption in quantities and settings that can lead to serious immediate and long-term consequences (CDC ).
Task Force Findings
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This summary of CPSTF findings to prevent excessive alcohol consumption can be used as a reference, included in presentations, or shared with colleagues.
CDC’s Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5) Initiative HI-5 highlights non-clinical, community-wide approaches that have evidence reporting 1) positive health impacts, 2) results within five years, and 3) cost effectiveness and/or cost savings over the lifetime of the population or earlier. The website features links to implementation resources and success stories that can help communities get started.