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30 Drunkest Cities in America in 2023

In this article, we are going to discuss the 30 drunkest cities in America in 2023. You can skip our detailed analysis of the economic cost of excessive drinking, the effects of Covid-19 on drinking habits, the pharmaceutical treatment for heavy drinking, and the workplace drinking culture, and go directly to 10 Drunkest Cities in America in 2023

Alcohol is the most widely used drug in America, but in some areas drinking is more prevalent and an essential part of the local culture. Canadian health officials issued revised government recommendations for alcohol consumption recently, changing the low risk level from two drinks per day to two drinks per week. Health officials further said that no amount is safe and strongly suggested that citizens cut out alcohol altogether.

There is a substantial amount of evidence that suggests that any alcohol consumption, however moderate, can have negative health consequences. Even low levels of drinking can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer. Understanding that there is no such thing as risk-free drinking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – while not going so far as its Canadian counterpart – defines moderate drinking as 2 drinks or less per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. Still, despite the well-publicized health risks, more than two-thirds of adult drinkers regularly exceed those levels.

The Economic Cost of Excessive Drinking: 

Excessive drinking cost the United States almost $250 billion in 2010 (Latest figures available by the CDC). Two of every $5 were paid by the government, and 75% of the cost was due to binge drinking – defined as consuming five or more drinks in a 2-hour period for men or four or more drinks for women. The median cost per state was $3.5 billion. Several evidence-based strategies can help reduce excessive drinking, including increasing alcohol excise taxes, limiting alcohol outlet density, and commercial host liability. 

The Effects of Covid-19: 

As the Covid-19 virus tightened its grip on the country in 2020, the hospitality industry took one of the biggest economic hits, but that didn’t mean it became harder to get a drink. With almost every state relaxing its alcohol laws in 2020 in an effort to keep local economies afloat, it was even easier to kick back with a drink after a bad day. All but three states gave liquor stores a lockdown exemption, with many classifying the business – along with grocery stores and pharmacies – as an essential service. 

In the first few weeks of the lockdown, alcohol sales for off-premise locations jumped 54% and online alcohol sales had increased by 262% compared to sales data from the same week in 2019. From March to September 2020, there were $41.9 billion in liquor store sales, representing an increase of 20% from the same period the previous year. 

Pharmaceutical Treatment: 

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved drug used to treat alcohol use disorder and opioid dependence. One of the companies manufacturing naltrexone is Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE:MNK), which sells it under the brand name Depade. Although Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE:MNK)’s growing portfolio of specialty pharmaceuticals helped treat a variety of health conditions, the company got caught in an opioid controversy and agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits last year, over its role in the opioid crisis. The stock price of Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE:MNK) has plunged by over 80% this year. 

Workplace Drinking Culture: 

According to the Institute for Work & Health, employees at companies that most discouraged social drinking were 45% less likely to be heavy drinkers than those in workplaces with the most liberal attitudes to drinking, after taking into account other factors that influence drinking levels. 

Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) is a company that famously banned alcohol from in-office events back in 2016. Soberforce is an employee-led resource group within Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) that was started with the goal to provide a community and connection for sober employees, support people with addiction issues and destigmatize addiction. 

Soberforce holds regular virtual meetings and leads conversation threads on Slack, which is made available to all of 75,000 global employees of Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM). 

If you want to check out which countries drink the most alcohol, please read Top 20 Alcohol Drinking Countries in the World

With that said, here are the 30 Drunkest American Cities in 2023

30 Drunkest Cities in America in 2023
30 Drunkest Cities in America in 2023

Copyright: dmitrymoi / 123RF Stock Photo

Methodology:

To collect data for this article, we have referred to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looking for Cities With the Highest Rates of Excessive Drinking. The excessive drinking rate measures the percentage of a city’s adult population that reports binge or heavy drinking in the past 30 days. To keep our list more relevant, we have only kept it limited to larger cities with populations of 200,000 or more. When two cities had the same excessive drinking rate, we ranked them by the percentage of driving deaths with alcohol involved. 

If you’re also interested in reading which states drink the most amounts of beer, please refer to 25 U.S. States With the Highest Beer Consumption per Capita.  

30. San Francisco, CA

Excessive Drinking Rate: 18.9%

San Francisco spends more on alcohol than any other city in the U.S., according to a survey by the Delphi Behavioral Health Group. The city locals spent an average of $1,131 per year on alcoholic beverages between 1996 and 2016. 

29. San Antonio, TX

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19%

Alcohol abuse is a problem throughout Texas, but San Antonio stands out for the wrong reasons. The highest number of DUI crashes of any Texan city take place within San Antonio. 

28. Cleveland, OH

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19%

The Cleveland City Council amended its Alcohol and Beverage Ordinance in 2022, to allow for curbside service. Under the revised ordinance, customers were allowed to place orders online and pick up their alcohol at the store curbside. The new rules were in response to Covid-19 and shifts in consumer shopping patterns to online purchases.  

27. San Diego, CA

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.3%

San Diegans love their beer, wine and spirits. In fact, with over 150 breweries and countless bars, the city is known as the Craft Beer Capital of the U.S

26. Houston, TX

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.3%

The cost of excessive alcohol consumption in the state of Texas was reported to be around $18.8 billion, according to the CDC. With 19.3% of the city’s adults reporting binge/heavy drinking, Houston is among the top 50 drunkest cities in America

25. Dallas, TX

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.4%

More than $923 million was spent on alcohol in Dallas bars, clubs, restaurants, convention centers, and hotels in 2019. 

24. Charlotte, NC

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.4%

Excessive drinking cost North Carolinians nearly $10 billion in 2017, according to a study at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. This is a 38% increase over excessive drinking costs in 2010. 

23. Philadelphia, PA

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.5%

Pennsylvania witnessed a record $3.017 billion in wine and spirits sales in the 2021-22 financial year, the first time sales topped $3 billion. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board raised prices of more than 3,500 of its most popular wines and spirits by 4% this year. 

22. Columbus, OH

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.5%

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) and the City of Columbus are launching the first ever city-wide program in the U.S. to understand and help reduce the harmful use of alcohol, as part of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD)’s Global Smart Drinking Goals initiative. 

21. Kansas City, MO

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.6%

The Kansas City Chiefs faced backlash from some of their fans after their alcohol-fueled Super Bowl parade this year, when one player nearly fell off the top deck of the bus and another had to be taken home in a wheelchair after drinking too much.

20. Louisville, KY

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.7%

Famously known for its bourbon, Louisville is the heaviest drinking city in the state of Kentucky and ranks among the Drunkest Cities in the U.S. in 2023

19. Cincinnati, OH

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.7%

The Cincinnati Bengals fans consume more alcoholic beverages during the game than any of the other 31 teams. Bengals fans consume 5.2 drinks per game on average and spend over $43 on alcohol at the Paul Brown Stadium. 

18. Denver, CO

Excessive Drinking Rate: 19.9%

Denver is home to some of the most celebrated breweries in the world and hosts the Great American Beer Festival every year, so it comes as no surprise that Denver is counted among the top 20 drunkest cities in the U.S.

17. Orlando, FL

Excessive Drinking Rate: 20.2%

Orlando-based SeaWorld brought back a longtime tradition in the summer of 2018 – Free beer. It was a nod to the company’s history when SeaWorld was owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD). 

16. New York, NY

Excessive Drinking Rate: 20.3%

The average New Yorker consumed 761 standard-sized alcoholic drinks in 2020, coming out to an average of 15 standard drinks weekly. 

15. Miami, FL

Excessive Drinking Rate: 20.4%

Florida has a number of serious substance abuse issues, but excessive drinking continues to be a pervasive problem in the Sunshine State. With 20.4% of its adult population engaged in binge/heavy drinking, Miami ranks 15th in our list of drunkest cities in America

14. Raleigh, NC

Excessive Drinking Rate: 20.4%

Excessive drinking is the third-leading cause of death in North Carolina. Wake County, home to Raleigh, spent a combined total of $190.37 million on alcohol in 2021 – the highest figures in the state. 

13. Detroit, MI

Excessive Drinking Rate: 20.7%

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation last month that would allow for the sale of alcohol in college stadiums and arenas in Michigan. The Great Lake State isn’t the only one in the Midwest with an alcohol problem though, as the region contains some of the drunkest states in America in 2023.  

12. Jacksonville, FL

Excessive Drinking Rate: 21%

Known for its bustling nightlife and live music, Jacksonville is one of the best beach towns in Florida. The city is soliciting ideas from bars and restaurants that sell alcohol to help curb the rowdy crowds, fights and other problems fueled by excessive alcohol consumption in its downtown entertainment district.

11. Tampa, FL

Excessive Drinking Rate: 21.2%

Tampa ranks among the most expensive drinking cities in the U.S. According to a survey by Drug Rehab Services, it costs an average person in Tampa $82 for a typical night out of drinking.

Click to continue reading and see the 10 Drunkest Cities in America in 2023

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Disclosure: None. 30 Drunkest Cities in America in 2023 is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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