Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Alcohol Consumption - Heavy Drinking

Why Is This Important?

'''Heavy drinking''' is a type of excessive alcohol use. It exceeds the Dietary Guidelines for Americans definition of moderate drinking which is up to 1 drink per day for women, and up to 2 drinks per day for men. Most heavy drinkers are also binge drinkers. According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use is responsible for '''88,000 deaths in the United States''' each year, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.^1^ Estimates also suggest that over '''700 Utahns''' die from alcohol-attributable causes each year and Utah is ranked seventh in the nation for alcohol poisoning deaths.^2^ Excessive alcohol use is also associated with many health and social harms, including '''liver cirrhosis, certain cancers, unintentional injuries, violence, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder'''. Excessive drinking cost the United States $249 billion in 2010.^3^ In 2014, the cost of excessive alcohol use in Utah was estimated to be $1.2 billion.^4^[[br]] [[br]] ---- #Preventing Chronic Disease, 2014, Contribution of excessive alcohol consumption to deaths and years of potential life lost in the United States #Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application, 2013. Available at [] #American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 2010, National and State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption #Utah Department of Public Safety, Alcohol Abuse Tracking Committee, 2016 Report

Heavy Drinking in the Past 30 Days, Utah and U.S., 2011-2017

::chart - missing::
confidence limits

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 Notes

The calculated variable for heavy drinking uses the definition "more than 14 drinks for men" and "more than 7 drinks for women". See Data Interpretation Issues for further information.   [[br]] These rates are crude rates, not age-adjusted, given that the Healthy People 2020 Objective is based on crude rates.

Risk Factors

People experiencing poor mental health are more likely to drink excessively.

How Are We Doing?

Using data from both landline and cell phones in 2017, it was estimated that '''3.7%''' (crude rate) of Utah adults reported heavy drinking in the 30 days before for the survey. There was a '''slight decrease''' in heavy drinking in Utah from 2016 rates; '''(4.8%)'''.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Department of Health [ Violence and Injury Prevention Program] receives funding from the [ Alcohol Program at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)] for a full-time alcohol epidemiologist. With this additional capacity at the UDOH, it is now possible to conduct more monitoring and surveillance of excessive alcohol use and related harms. 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.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of adults who drank excessively in the previous 30 days

U.S. Target: 25.4 percent

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/26/2018

Other Views

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 Sat, 17 August 2019 20:32:42 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:28 MDT