Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Substance Abuse Epidemiology Profile for Alcohol - Adult Heavy Drinking

Problem Statement

Heavy drinking (defined as having more than 2 drinks/day, for males; and more than one drink/day, for females) is a pattern of excessive alcohol consumption that can lead to alcohol-related chronic disease and death. According to the latest estimates from the CDC, 100% of numerous chronic disease conditions (e.g., alcoholic liver disease, alcohol dependence syndrome), and a significant proportion of many other conditions (e.g., unspecified liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis) are alcohol-related. For each of these causes, it is chronic heavy drinking (as opposed to acute episodic, or binge drinking) that is considered primarily responsible for the incidence and progression of alcohol-related chronic disease. Heavy drinking is also associated with a wide range of other social problems, including alcoholism (also known as alcohol dependence), domestic violence and family disruption.
Adult heavy drinking prevalence has been more-or-less constant since 2005. Heavy drinking prevalence is lower among adults in New Mexico than in the U.S. overall.


Chart 1. Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ New Mexico and U.S., 2001-2017

Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ New Mexico and U.S., 2001-2017

::chart - missing::
confidence limits

Data Notes

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, [https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/brfssprevalence].

Table 1. Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ by Age, Sex and Race/Ethnicity, New Mexico, 2015-2017

Percentage Chronic Heavy Drinkers
Sex and Race/EthnicityAges 18-24Ages 25-64Ages 65+All Ages
Male, American Indian5.47.57.47
Male, Asian/Pacific Islander**0**0
Male, Black**2**3.3
Male, Hispanic4.86.63.15.8
Male, White8.66.74.96.4
Male, All Races5.56.54.55.9
Female, American Indian2.34.403.5
Female, Asian/Pacific Islander**0.4**0.3
Female, Black**6.4**4.4
Female, Hispanic1.53.50.72.7
Female, White6.16.95.66.5
Female, All Races2.753.64.4
Both Sexes, American Indian3.75.83.25.1
Both Sexes, Asian/Pacific Islander**0.2**0.1
Both Sexes, Black**4.34.93.9
Both Sexes, Hispanic3.251.84.2
Both Sexes, White7.46.85.36.4
Both Sexes, All Races4.15.745.2


Data Notes

**Excluded due to small number of respondents (< 50) in population

Data Source

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.

Problem Statement (continued)

Heavy drinking was most prevalent among adults in the 25-64 year age group, with 4.9% of adults in this group reporting past-month heavy drinking. New Mexico men were somewhat more likely to report chronic drinking than women (5.2% vs 3.7%); and American Indian females had the highest reported rate of heavy drinking (5.6%) followed by White and Hispanic males (5.2%) and White females (4.9%). Meanwhile, it is notable that American Indian males, who have the highest rates of alcohol-related chronic disease death, once again, as in past years, have the lowest reported heavy drinking rates. The lack of congruence between heavy drinking rates and chronic disease death rates might suggest differences in the patterns of heavy drinking between different population groups. Perhaps, for example, the smaller proportion of the American Indian population that drinks heavily tends to drink more heavily (hence with more lethal effect) than heavy drinkers in other race/ethnic groups. On the other hand, it is also possible that this low heavy drinking rate is an artifact of survey methods. Ongoing efforts are being made to improve American Indian representation in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). American Indian male binge drinking rates were lower than the binge drinking rates for males in other race/ethnic groups in 2010.
Heavy drinking rates were highest in Curry, Torrance and Luna counties; and substantially lower in counties that have among the highest rates of alcohol-related chronic disease death rates (e.g., McKinley, Rio Arriba, Cibola).

Table 2. Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ by County and Race/Ethnicity, New Mexico, 2015-2017

Percentage Chronic Heavy Drinkers
CountyAmerican IndianAsian PIBlackHispanicWhiteAll Races
Bernalillo2.9****4.36.2
Catron**********
Chaves******4.35.5
Cibola10****6.21.7
Colfax********3.9
Curry******4.65.2
De Baca**********
Dona Ana******4.35.7
Eddy******7.25.5
Grant******4.35.3
Guadalupe**********
Harding**********
Hidalgo**********
Lea******8.15.8
Lincoln********6.4
Los Alamos********0
Luna******7.20
McKinley4.8****1.21.6
Mora**********
Otero6.9****1.85.4
Quay********10.7
Rio Arriba******0.55.6
Roosevelt********3.3
Sandoval******5.74.4
San Juan1.9****46.9
San Miguel******313.3
Santa Fe******2.79.7
Sierra********8.7
Socorro**********
Taos******04.4
Torrance**********
Union**********
Valencia******2.74.1
New Mexico5.10.13.94.26.4
U.S.**********


Data Notes

**Excluded due to small number of respondents (< 50) in population. The county-level BRFSS data used for this indicator report were weighted to be representative of the New Mexico Health Region populations. Had the data been weighted to be representative of each county population, the results would likely have been different.

Data Source

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.

Chart 2. Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ by County, New Mexico, 2015-2017



Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ by County, New Mexico, 2015-2017

::chart - missing::
confidence limits

Data Notes

**Percentages based on fewer than 50 completed surveys are not shown because they do not meet the DOH standard for data release. The county-level BRFSS data used for this indicator report were weighted to be representative of the New Mexico Health Region populations. Had the data been weighted to be representative of each county population, the results would likely have been different.

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, [https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/brfssprevalence].

Chart 3. Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ by County, New Mexico, 2014-2016

Heavy Drinking (past 30 days), Adults Aged 18+ by County, New Mexico, 2014-2016

supplemental image

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 (http://ibis.health.state.nm.us). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Fri, 04 December 2020 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.health.state.nm.us".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Mar 2019 09:23:47 MDT