Rate of binge drinking among women increases in Pa.

     (Nathaniel Hamilton/for NewsWorks)

    (Nathaniel Hamilton/for NewsWorks)

    Across the U.S., more moderate drinkers have turned to heavy or binge drinking over the last decade.

    And while the number of people who consume alcohol has remained relatively steady, those who do drink are doing so more often, according to a recent report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

    William Heisel, director of communications for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said many people may not realize that they are binge drinking.

    “So it means you went out to dinner and, if you’re a women, you had four drinks, and, if you’re a man, you had five drinks,” said Heisel. “That’s actually a lot of alcohol in one sitting, and that qualifies as binge drinking.”

    Data also indicated that the rate of binge drinking is growing faster among women than men.

    In Pennsylvania, the number of women who consume four or more glasses of alcohol in one sitting is up by 0.6 percent across the state. At the same time, the number of male binge drinkers has decreased by 0.8 percent.

    Bev Haberle confirms the data, saying she sees more clients at the Women’s Recovery Community Center in New Britain, which is run by her group, The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania.

    “I think that many of the issues that lead women into drinking need to be unbundled,” said Haberle. “And having a safe place to talk about some of those things that are in a gender specific atmosphere can really help women get a handle on what they can do and how they can learn to manage.”

    The availability of alcohol and the stress of being a working parent has more women drinking, Haberle said.


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