New Yorkers Actually Drink Less Than the Nationwide Average. Really.


There’s a new New York City drinking survey out, and chances are, you’re a drinker, because more than half of New Yorkers of legal drinking age are (congrats!). We were surprised and vindicated to find, however, that New Yorkers on average (53%) actually drank less than the nationwide average (56%) — so we’re not quite the alcoholic sluts you think we are (commenter, we’re talking to you).

Back to the alcohol portion of the program:

The report categorizes some important “types” of drinking, just in case you haven’t ever seen an episode of Oprah: “Any drinking” is drinking anything alcoholic in the last month. “Heavy drinking” is drinking more than two drinks per day if you’re a guy and more than one per day if you’re a woman. And our old friend “binge drinking” is drinking five or more drinks in a single occasion in the past 30 days, also known as, “being a certain age and living in New York” and/or “going out.”

Some interesting details:

–11% of New Yorkers who report drinking are heavy drinkers; 42% binge drink.

–56% of drinking adults choose beer; 1/4 pick wine, and 1/5 choose spirits. Good. More for us.

–Reported drinking in the past month has increased in NYC among underage college students (aged 18 to 20) from 45% in 2002-2005 to 57% in 2005-2008. Hmm….Four Loko?

There’s also been a pretty big uptick in booze-related Emergency Department visits for adults, from 22,000 in 2003 to almost 74,000 in 2009 — mostly in drinky enclaves like Lower Manhattan; Greenwich Village-SoHo, Gramercy Park-Murray Hill, and Chelsea-Clinton, as well as North and West Queens; Southern Brooklyn; and Greenpoint. Again, Four Loko?

No one likes an ER visit, not even the drunk person, and especially not the doctors and friends of the drunk person, so we’d suggest a simple rule to heed while drinking: Stop doing it before you have to go to the emergency room. We’re grownups here, or at least we should be if we’re drinking…is it too much to expect some semblance of maturity with that 5th gin and tonic?

Anyway, this stat that we drink less than the rest of the country, beyond being hard to believe, is a little worrisome. Unless we’re lying…er, not at all what you’d expect from a bunch of drunks.

[via Gothamist]