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High Rate Of Binge Drinking In The District

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By Sara Sciammacco

A new government report has startling numbers on binge drinking among adults in the District of Columbia. Medical researchers analyzed data from a telephone survey that involved more than 400,000 individuals nationwide.

The prevalence of binge drinking among adults in the District of Columbia was 20 percent in 2009, the fourth-highest percentage in the survey. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Friedman says overindulging in alcohol can lead to liver problems, certain cancers, and heart disease.

"On average people who binge drink do so about once a week and may consume about eight drinks or more, and it may be because binge drinking hasn’t been widely recognized as a problem that it has not decreased in the past 15 years in this country," Friedman says.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton tried to address the issue in Congress in 2002 with legislation that would have increased taxes on certain beer and wine, but it got nowhere.

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