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Americans Will Spend More Than $1 Billion on Beer This Weekend

Independence Day holiday is one of heaviest drinking days in the US.

Drinking-age people in Texas drink more beer than people in 41 other states. They’ll drink an average of 34 beers per capita, which may not sound like too much over the course of a whole year, but consider that’s an average that can’t account for the number of drinking-age people who simply don’t drink. Lori Fiester is the Director of Treatment with the Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston. She says holidays like the Fourth of July often lead people to overuse alcohol.

“Maybe my normal alcohol consumption might be one to two drinks. But maybe on the Fourth I’m going to have a little bit more because I’m with family, I’m having fun. But unfortunately what happens is people overdo a lot,” Fiester said.

A report released last week by the CDC indicates one out of ten working age adults dies from an alcohol-related cause. That encompasses more than complications from alcoholism or from vehicle accidents involving alcohol. Fiester says part of the problem is a lot of people don’t realize how much  they’re drinking.

“Binge drinking for women is drinking four drinks at a sitting. It’s five for a man. And that is just too much for our liver to be able to handle it and it affects our major organs.”

A misunderstanding of portions can also lead to overdrinking. One drink is a 12 ounce beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits.

“There is a billion-dollar industry pushing us to drink. Just go around 610 and look at how many signs there are about alcohol. I’m not saying this is the evil thing of the world. But it’s all around us. We socialize with alcohol, everywhere you can go most likely you’ll see alcohol. So it makes sense why people overdrink and overuse,” Fiester said.

Women who have more than seven servings of alcohol a week and men who have 14 or more drinks a week are considered heavy drinkers. Fiester says knowing these guidelines can help people assess if their drinking
habits have crossed over into problematic territory.

 

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

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Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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