Binge Drinking: Binge drinking is the
consumption of five or more alcoholic beverages in one
session. Eighteen percent of Hawai'i's adult population
and 14.9 percent of Hawai'i's youth report binge drinking at least once in the past month. For adults, Hawai'i's binge
drinking rate has increased in recent years while youth binge drinking has fortunately decreased.
binge drinking rate is approximately three times higher than the "Healthy People 2010" objective
of 6 percent (adults).
Heavy Drinking and Current Drinking: Heavy drinking is the consumption of two or more alcoholic
beverages per day for men and one or more for women.
Hawai'i's rate was consistently above the U.S. rate throughout
the 1990s. As of 2009, Hawai'i's rate for heavy drinking
among adults was about 1.3 times higher than that
for the U.S. overall. For youth, current drinking is reported,
referring to alcohol use within the past month. About 29 percent of Hawai'i's youth (12-17) admit to drinking alcoholic beverages in the previous month, compared to 45 percent nationally.
Consequences of Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol abuse is associated with motor vehicle crashes, homicides, domestic violence, suicides, and drowning. The annual economic cost to the United States from alcohol abuse was estimated to be $185 billion in 1998.1 Excessive drinking has physical and psychological consequences. Long-term heavy drinking can lead to heart disease, cancer, alcohol-related liver disease, and pancreatitis. Effective substance abuse prevention efforts include access to culturally, linguistically, and age-appropriate services; job training and employment; parenting training; support groups; further behavioral research; and targeted programs for vulnerable populations.2
Motor Vehicle Deaths Due to Alcohol: While motor vehicle deaths due to alcohol experienced a general decline between 1995 and 2002, since 2002, Hawaii's rate has increased significantly. In Hawaii, nearly one in two motor vehicle deaths is due to alcohol.