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These Alabama “Binge Drinking” rates might surprise you

Over the past year, the national number of binge drinkers has gone down by almost 7 percent. Here in Alabama, our numbers have gone up.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —

More than 40 million Americans binge drink. We looked into the numbers here in Alabama, and they might surprise you.

The CDC defines binge drinking as drinking four standard-sized drinks for women, and five standard-sized drinks for men, in just the span of 2 hours or less. 

Over the past year, the national number of binge drinkers has gone down by almost 7 percent. Here in Alabama, our numbers have gone up by almost 2 percent.

But, almost 14 percent of Alabama adults binge drink, still lower than the national average of 16.2 percent. 

Experts say this habit can quickly turn into an addiction.

We met up with Monretta Vega, a Counselor at Huntsville Psychotherapy and Counseling Services. She has dealt with patients who find themselves binge drinking to cope with other challenges. She tells our reporter, “Binge drinking has an effect on us wholeheartedly, in every aspect-- mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. So it’s important that you identify why you’re drinking. Is it more social, or are we trying to hide our real feelings?” 

Binge drinking has been on the rise nationally over the last decade, with more than 8 million new binge drinkers since 2010.