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Health Indicator Report of Alcohol Consumption - Chronic Drinking

Chronic drinking is an indicator of potentially serious alcohol abuse, and is related to driving under the influence of alcohol. It is a problem nationally. Alcohol abuse is strongly associated with injuries and violence, chronic liver disease, fetal alcohol syndrome, and risk of other acute and chronic health conditions. Chronic 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.

Chronic Drinking in the Past 30 Days, Utah and U.S., 2006-2014


A drink of alcohol is equivalent to a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a drink with one shot of liquor.   [[br]] [[br]] A new weighting methodology that better represents populations of low socioeconomic status and added cell phone interviews produced a higher estimated chronic drinking rate for Utah adults compared to previous estimates that were based on post-stratification by age, sex, and local health district. These rates are crude rates, not age-adjusted, given that the Healthy People 2020 Objective is based on crude rates.

Data Sources

  • Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
  • U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Data Interpretation Issues

Question Text 2001-2005: "During the past 30 days, how often have you had at least one drink of any alcoholic beverage? On the days when you drank, about how many drinks did you drink on the average?" Question Text beginning in 2006: "During the past month, how many days per week or per month did you drink any alcoholic beverages, on the average? On the days when you drank, about how many drinks did you drink on the average?" Chronic drinking is defined as an average daily alcohol consumption of >1 drink for women and >2 drinks for men in the past 30 days. This amount of alcohol consumption is considered to be exceeding the guidelines for low-risk drinking.


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


Number of survey respondents who reported chronic 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-15:

Reduce the proportion of adults who drank excessively in the previous 30 days
U.S. Target: 25.4 percent

Other Objectives

One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Chronic Disease Indicators: Heavy drinking among adults 18 and older.

How Are We Doing?

Using data from both landline and cell phones in 2014, it was estimated that 3.9% (crude rate) of Utah adults exceeded the guidelines for low-risk drinking in the 30 days before for the survey.

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 11/19/2015, 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 20:17:05 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