Washington, D.C. Leads Nation Among Alcohol Abusers

A new study says that Washington, D.C. leads the nation with the highest percentage of alcohol abusers:

A new report says that adults in Washington D.C. abuse alcohol more than anyone else in the country.

According to a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 8.1 percent of adults age 26 or older in D.C. are alcohol dependent.  Looking at a long-term sampling, alcohol abuse rate is on the rise for the District, according to the survey.

The Washington Examiner first reported the story, noting that alcohol abuse has been a chronic issue in the District, affecting residents from the city’s streets to former First Lady Betty Ford in the White House.

D.C. was also among the 10 states where residents most frequently reported smoking marijuana within the last month.  Alaskan residents inhale the most, according to the survey, with 11.5 percent of residents saying the lit up with four weeks of the survey.

Cocaine use in the District was also high.  The survey says that while D.C. residents age 17 and under reported some of the lowest cocaine use in the country, District adults were among the top coke users in the United States, with 3.78 percent of residents saying they had used over a one year period.

Are we really surprised?

H/T: Instapundit

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    Oddly, even clicking through the links, none of the stories defines “alcohol dependent.”

  2. Jay Tea says:

    Amazingly enough, this study came out after Ted Kennedy passed on and Patrick Kennedy left office.

    J.

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    @James Joyner: What do u think it means?

  4. Boyd says:

    While I’m amused at the image your post conjures, Doug, I have to wonder how large is the “political contingent” in DC as opposed to “normal” human beings. Actually, I have to wonder at the definition of my own term. Would the “political contingent” just include elected officials and the employees that they hire, or would it spread to include lobbyists? And how about the career government employees at the various Executive departments and so forth?

    It’s starting to make my head hurt. I think I’ll stop now.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Boyd:

    It’s starting to make my head hurt. I think I’ll stop now.

    A nice drink would fix that right up.

  6. JKB says:

    alcohol dependent – heir to one of the great liquor and beer distributorships handed out as political favors upon the repeal of Prohibition.

    But it is interesting, that cocaine use is declining in the District as alcohol abuse is increasing, just as many parts of the city gentrify forcing out long term residents. I guess the city of Marion Berry is dying with a city of frat boys and sorority girls taking its place.

  7. sam says:

    @JKB:

    But it is interesting, that [crack] cocaine use is declining in the District as alcohol abuse is increasing, just as many parts of the city gentrify forcing out long term [black] residents. I guess the city of [black mayor] Marion Berry is dying with a city of [white] frat boys and [white] sorority girls taking its place.

    Don’t bother denying it.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    There are fashions in the world of drug abuse. I know that sounds odd, but it’t true. Ecstasy will be fashionable for a while, then meth, then booze, then crack. Different cliques adopt different drugs, those groups rise or fall in favor, and on and on. Each time LSD rises and heroin falls, or weed rises and beer falls, we get a story about it. But at its heart it’s fashion.

    But to say it’s fashion is also to say it’s a sort of ongoing education. People learn the downsides of meth and go in search of something less destructive. (Or more, depending.) BUt the education is haphazard, crowd-sourced, and it doesn’t cross generations so we have to relearn every lesson with each new generation.

    The best way to handle drug use and abuse is to legalize, educate (and I don’t mean the usual propaganda, I mean the truth,) regulate and tax, setting some of those tax funds aside to cover the costs of the most serious abuse. A system that treats meth and ecstasy or crack and mushrooms as equally dangerous is a system without credibility or the power to educate.

    It would be great if every meth user just cleaned up and stayed straight. But it would be almost as good if they just smoked pot or popped ecstasy.

  9. JKB says:

    @sam:

    Deny what? The only question I have is they don’t let blacks in fraternities and sororities? None of the privileged Ivy Leaguers who are invading the District are minorities?

    But otherwise, Marion Barry was mayor and is notorious for use of cocaine and privileged high paid individuals of all races are moving into neighborhoods transforming and raising the costs to that poorer long term residents are being forced to relocate.

    Why are you so obsessed with race? You should try to get passed your color-biased views on everything.

  10. PD Shaw says:

    none of the stories defines “alcohol dependent.”

    Alcohol dependence is a diagnosable disorder, like schizophrenia. I too wonder how the data was collected. You can turn the list of criteria into a survey,</a but I think a lot of therapists would not be thrilled about self-diagnosis.

  11. mike says:

    DC has to lead at something

  12. Jay Tea says:

    @mike: Well, it already leads in “most spent per capita on students in public schools” and “worst public schools.” Isn’t that distinction enough?

    J.

  13. David Riska says:

    From what we understand DC also has the most Starbucks per capita of any major city in the US. Go figure.