Study reveals alcohol increase among certain Americans

Women, older adults, and racial minorities had the greatest increase in alcohol abuse

NORTHAMPTON, Mass (WWLP) – Alcohol use is on the rise in America. New research found women, older adults, and racial minorities had the greatest increase in alcohol use and abuse.

Alcohol use increased 11 percent in America between 2002 and 2012. There was an even bigger jump in high risk drinking, and alcohol abuse.

Mike Genthner of Ashfield told 22News, “I partied hard in college for a couple years, in my younger days. My GPA paid for it, but I’ve since learned that as I’ve gotten older, I have to take better care of myself.”

And it’s not just college kids who partied hard. The study discovered women, older adults and minorities had the greatest increase for alcohol use and abuse.

22News went to Paul and Elizabeth’s restaurant in Northampton, where several customers were enjoying a casual lunchtime spirit, with their meal.

While that is a common practice, Executive Chef Nate Sustick told 22News, in the 39-years the restaurant’s been open, he’s seen very few instances of customers who drank too much.

“Maybe two or three incidents and they’ve been pretty isolated, in terms of people coming in who have already been drinking,” said Sustick.

Excessive alcohol use can lead to high blood pressure, heart and liver disease and even certain cancers. It kills 88,000 people a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medical officials say the opioid crisis may be overshadowing, another growing concern, which is alcohol abuse.