Less People Say They Drink Alcohol Every Week Than You Might Think - Exclusive Survey

It may come as a surprise to learn just how abundant alcohol is. For starters, there are trace amounts of ethyl alcohol — in a literal cloud of alcohol — located in a region of space some 6,500 lightyears from Earth, called W3(OH), says Phys.org. According to Britannica, humans may have discovered alcohol by chance, perhaps by leaving grapes out to ferment in some hot summer air. Regardless of its origins, alcohol is one of the oldest drugs used in human society. And it remains one of the most popular drugs in use today, as an estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide consume alcohol (per World Health Organization).

In America, consumption rates change over time (via National Library of Medicine). Back in the 1800s consumption was the highest, with each adult estimated to drink about 6 to 7 gallons of pure alcohol per year. Prohibition, which began in 1920, lowered those rates significantly to around less than 2 gallons per year. However, rates have been climbing lately, and today Americans drink a little more per year than they did before Prohibition (per AP News). To get a closer look at American alcohol consumption habits, Health Digest conducted a survey and asked respondents how many alcoholic drinks they typically have in a week. The results may surprise you.

Do you have this many drinks per week?

The results of a Health Digest poll of 583 people showed that 270 people, or 46.31% of respondents do not consume any alcoholic drinks on a weekly basis. 144 people, or 24.70% of respondents say that they typically consume 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks per week. 80 people, or 13.72% of respondents normally have 3 to 4 alcoholic beverages a week, while 55 people, or 9.43% of respondents consume 5 to 9 alcoholic beverages per week. Finally, 34 people, or 5.83% of respondents, consume more than 10 alcoholic drinks per week.

Alcohol is typically consumed as a beverage and affects the body in several ways. In the brain, alcohol can alter behavior and mood by blocking communication pathways (per National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). It can also damage the liver if abused and even lead to some forms of cancer. However, there is some controversy around alcohol consumption. You might wonder: how much should I drink — if at all?

According to a 2022 study published in Nature, having no more than 1 drink a day can add a year to your life expectancy, while consuming any more than that can take close to 7 years off it. Notably, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate drinking for most women as 1 drink per day and for most men as 2 drinks per day (via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). As with anything, the key to alcohol consumption is often found in balance.