Think you’re a heavy drinker? Think again.


Growing up, health classes taught us the definition of binge drinking is someone who drinks five beers or shots in a night. We were discouraged from being a binge drinker, but we all know people who did it at various points. But a new study shows just how much drinking it takes to be in the elite class of truly heavy drinkers.

Washington Post’s Wonkblog has a great infographic showing what the top 10 percent drink relative to the rest of the population. First off, 6 in 10 people drink less than one drink a week – and half that group doesn’t drink at all, which squares up with what I’ve seen as a trend where an increasing number of people I know simply aren’t interested in it.

So that leaves the remaining 40 percent who drink more. By the time you get into the top 10 percent, you need to be drinking two bottles of wine a day just to rank, and even then, the article notes, you would be in the lower half of that 10 percent group. Yes, the top 10 percent drink an average of nearly 74 drinks per week. Average means some drink more – a lot more. Drinking more than a 12-pack of beer per day seems insane to me, but I’m sure someone’s figured out how.

The article goes on to note that half of the alcohol bought is drank by that 10 percent group. That’s an insane amount of money, but when you look at products like cigarettes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar statistics bear out.

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