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Health Indicator Report of Alcohol - Adult Binge Drinking

According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 47% of homicides, 32% of falls injury deaths, 29% of drug overdose deaths, and 23% of suicide deaths are alcohol attributable. Likewise, alcohol consumption is the primary causal factor in roughly 46-49% of motor vehicle crash deaths among males aged 20-44, and in more than a third of motor vehicle crash deaths among females aged 20-44. Binge drinking is also associated with a wide range of other social problems, including domestic and sexual violence, crime, and risky sexual behavior. Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive drinking.


Please note that the definition of binge drinking changed after 2005. From 1998 through 2005, binge drinking was defined as drinking 5+ drinks on a single occasion at least once in past 30 days. Beginning in 2006, binge drinking is defined as drinking 5+ drinks (for men) or 4+ drinks (for women) on a single occasion at least once in past 30 days. Estimates for 2011 and forward should not be compared to earlier years (please refer to Data Interpretation Issues, below).

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BRFSS Prevalence and Trends Data, [].

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [ BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or above. This pattern of drinking usually corresponds to 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women, generally within about 2 hours.


Number of New Mexican adults (ages 18 and over) from the BRFSS who reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.


Number of New Mexican adults (ages 18 and over) from the BRFSS.

Healthy People Objective: SA-14.3, Reduce the proportion of persons engaging in binge drinking during the past month--Adults aged 18 years and older

U.S. Target: 24.4 percent

Other Objectives

Substance Abuse Epidemiology Report Indicator

Evidence-based Practices

The Community Guide ( provides recommendations for evidence-based interventions to prevent binge drinking and related harms, including: 1) Increasing alcoholic beverage costs 2) Limiting the number of retail alcohol outlets that sell alcoholic beverages in a given area 3) Holding alcohol retailers responsible for the harms caused by their underage or intoxicated patrons (dram shop liability) 4)Restricting access to alcohol by maintaining limits on the days and hours of alcohol retail sales 5) Consistent enforcement of laws against underage drinking and alcohol-impaired driving 6) Screening and counseling for alcohol misuse.

Available Services

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals should screen all adult patients and counsel those who drink too much to drink less. This is called alcohol screening and brief intervention (A-SBI). A-SBI can reduce how much alcohol a person drinks on an occasion by 25%. A-SBI is recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Community Guide), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information on A-SBI, please the CDC vital signs website:
Page Content Updated On 03/18/2019, Published on 03/19/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 28 November 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Mar 2019 09:23:25 MDT