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Top 10 Drunkest Cities in 2017

Top 10 Drunkest Cities in 2017

Did your hometown make the list?

You might be living a city full of heavy drinkers—and not even know it. And considering how alcohol can harmfully impact your health, it’s important to know if your location affects your own habit.

Using RealAge, a scientifically-based test that analyzes user provided health history and habits to determine your body’s physical age compared to your calendar age, we found out where people are imbibing the most.

Here are the top five drunkest cities in the United States for both men and women.

The 10 drunkest cities
For women:

  1. Greenville, SC
  2. Knoxville, TN
  3. Louisville, KY
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Jacksonville, FL

For men:

  1. Knoxville, TN
  2. Providence, RI
  3. Greenville, SC
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Columbus, OH

How drinking too much hurts your health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines heavy drinking as more than eight alcoholic beverages per week for women and over 15 per week for men, while binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks per occasion for women and five or more for men. What’s even more worrisome is that one in six US adults binge drinks around four times a month.

Excessive alcohol consumption can have short-term health effects, such as unintentional injuries or alcohol poisoning. It can inhibit decision-making, which may lead to acts of violence, motor vehicle accidents from drunk driving and risky sexual behaviors.

The long-term consequences of binge drinking are also numerous. The risk of breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon cancer increases with higher alcohol use. People who binge drink also have a greater chance of developing liver or heart disease. Mental health disorders are often exacerbated with alcohol use. And even though 90 percent of binge drinkers are not alcohol dependent, it does increase the likelihood of developing alcohol use disorder.

Excessive drinking has been found to cause impotence and infertility in men. In women, binge drinking may increase the risk of infertility by disrupting the menstrual cycle. If you are pregnant, no amount of alcohol is safe to drink; it puts the developing fetus at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.

How to cut back
If you find that yourself consistently drinking more than you should, there are ways to cut back or quit all together.

To reduce your drinking, it’s important to first know what amounts to a standard drink. The CDC defines a standard drink as 12 ounces of beer (5 percent ABV), 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or a 1 and a half ounce shot, and defines  moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and up to two per day for men.

Most restaurants and bars serve well over what is considered standard size. Order beer in a can or bottle to keep it close to 12 ounces, or ask for a light pour of wine. If you can’t control the amount, plan to drink less that you had anticipated. It’s also quite easy to pour over that amount at home. Try measuring your drinks and keep track of how many you have had. Most of all do not have more than one drink per hour.

Try to limit your drinks to during mealtime. Instead of having back-to-back drinks, break up your consumption with a nonalcoholic beverage such as water, seltzer, juice or soda. Even while drinking, keep a glass of water nearby to stay hydrated. A full stomach will help you absorb the alcohol more slowly. Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had by logging it in an app (like Sharecare, available for iOS or Android) or by taking notes in your smartphone.

If you find yourself using drinking as your main form of social interaction or as part of a hobby, it might be time for a change. Instead of going to the bar, get reacquainted with a hobby, try exercising or making plans with friends that don’t involve alcohol. Stick to social situations that will be alcohol-free, and if that isn’t possible, remember that you don’t need a drink to be social.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests implementing small changes to start. However, you should consider quitting all together if you still haven’t been able to cut back after three months. If you think you need to seek treatment, talk with your doctor and come up with a plan that works best for you.

Medically reviewed in February 2018.

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