Iowa ranks second among U.S. states for excessive drinking

(ABC 6 News) – The Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy released a report stating that Iowa ranks second in the nation when it comes to excessive drinking.

According to the data, nearly 23% of Iowa adults reported binge or heavy drinking in 2021.

The report classifies binge drinking as multiple drinks on one occasion in the last 30 days, 4 or more for females and 5 or more for males.

Heavy drinking was classified as multiple drinks a week, 8 or more for females and 15 or more for males.

The report cites a 2021 study by the International Journal of Research and Public Health in saying that 60% of Iowans surveyed report drinking more now than before the pandemic, with 45% saying stress is the reason, particularly women.

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division says Iowa annual liquor (distilled spirits) sales reached an all-time high of $415.8 million in 2021, up 13.2% compared to 2020 when sales rose 8.1%.

Alcohol-related deaths increased by 38% during the pandemic in Iowa (826 in 2021 versus 598 in 2019), according to the Iowa Department of Health.

Meanwhile, Minnesota also suffers from excessive drinking. The United Health Foundation says 20% of Minnesotan adults reported binge or heavy drinking in 2021, compared to 17.6% nationally.

To read more about the Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy report of drug trends in the state, CLICK HERE.

For anyone looking for help, the new 988 line is there to help anyone with a crisis or YourLife Iowa provides addiction support.