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Health Indicator Report of Alcohol Consumption - Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is an indicator of potentially serious alcohol abuse, and is related to driving under the influence of alcohol. It is a problem nationally, especially among males and young adults. Alcohol abuse is strongly associated with injuries and violence, chronic liver disease, fetal alcohol syndrome, and risk of other acute and chronic health conditions. Binge drinking among women of childbearing age is a problem because of the risk for prenatal alcohol exposure. Birth defects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure can occur during the first 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy before a woman knows she is pregnant.

Binge Drinking in the Past 30 Days by Race, Utah, 2012-2014


A drink of alcohol is 1 can or bottle of beer, 1 glass of wine, 1 can or bottle of wine cooler, 1 cocktail, or 1 shot of liquor.   [[br]] [[br]] These rates are crude rates, not age-adjusted, given that the Healthy People 2020 Objective is based on crude rates.

Data Source

Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Question Text 1989-2005: "Considering all types of alcoholic beverages, how many times during the past 30 days did you have 5 or more drinks on an occasion?" Question Text beginning in 2006: "Considering all types of alcoholic beverages, how many times during the past 30 days did you have X [X=5 for men, X=4 for women] or more drinks on an occasion?" Follow-up Question starting 2005: "During the past 30 days, what is the largest number of drinks you had on any occasion?" From 1989-2005, binge drinking on the BRFSS was defined as consuming five or more drinks of alcohol on an occasion one or more times during the past 30 days for both males and females. Starting in 2006, the definition of binge drinking changed to consuming five or more drinks on an occasion for men, or four or more drinks on an occasion for women one or more times during the past 30 days. Data for this indicator have been analyzed using this new definition. To reduce bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS survey methodology changed. In 2009, the survey began including surveys on cellular phones in addition to landline phones. And a new weighting methodology, known as "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) was implemented. More details about these changes can be found at: []. As with all surveys, some error results from nonresponse (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions), and measurement (e.g., social desirability or recall bias). Error was minimized by use of strict calling protocols, good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.


Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who reported binge drinking during the 30 days prior to the survey.


Number of survey respondents who reported binge drinking during the 30 days prior to the survey.


Number of survey respondents excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure", or "Refused" responses.

Healthy People Objective SA-14.3:

Reduce the proportion of persons engaging in binge drinking during the past 30 days--adults aged 18 years and older
U.S. Target: 24.4 percent

Other Objectives

One of Utah's 42 Community Health Indicators One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Chronic Disease Indicators.

How Are We Doing?

Using data from both landline and cell phones in 2014, it was estimated that 11.4% (crude rate) of Utah adults binge drank at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey. Utah is well below the Healthy People 2020 objective of 24.4% for this measure. This measure of binge drinking in the past 30 days fluctuated between a high of 12.0% in 1993 to a low of 7.7% in 1997 during the time these rates were calculated using only data from landline phone interviews.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Estimates for 2014 show that 16.0% of U.S. adults reported binge drinking in the past 30 days whereas 11.4% of Utah adults reported binge drinking (crude rates). The percentage of adults who reported binge drinking in the past 30 days was substantially lower in Utah than in the U.S. for all years reported between 1989-2014.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health is the agency responsible for ensuring that substance abuse and mental health prevention and treatment services are available statewide. The Division also acts as a resource by providing general information, research, and statistics to the public regarding substances of abuse and mental health services. []

Available Services

NATIONAL: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a toll-free referral helpline. The number is: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). UTAH: Dial 2-1-1 for state and community service information. Code 2-1-1 can now be accessed from anywhere in the state of Utah. 211 Info Bank, a program of Community Services Council, is a free information and referral line for health, human and community services. 211 provides information and referral on many topics.
Page Content Updated On 10/19/2015, Published on 11/19/2015
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 25 April 2017 20:13:09 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:48:05 MST