Welcome to North Shore Health Department North Shore Health Department Highlights 11/12/2019 Did you know? Data from the 2018 United Health Foundation’s annual health ranking placed Wisconsin as the worst state in the country for excessive drinking, with about 24 percent of adults reportedly drinking to excess. Excessive alcohol consumption includes: binge drinking, heavy drinking (15+ drinks/week for men; 8+ drinks/week for women and any alcohol consumption by youth under 21 or pregnant women. Binge drinking is defined as 5+ drinks per occasion for men and 4+ drinks per occasion for women. An occasion is defined as 2-3 hours. The negative health, social, and economic impacts of these alcohol statistics are staggering. For instance, according to a 2018 study (The Burden of Binge Drinking in Wisconsin report) from the UW Population Health Institute at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, adult binge drinking in Wisconsin cost almost $4 billion a year, which is approximately $700 per Wisconsin resident. This included health related costs such as over 79,000 alcohol related hospitalizations and over 6,000 alcohol related automobile crashes. The Health Institute report suggests many improvements that can be made on the local and state legislative fronts. A 2016 CDC publication provides recommendations that can be considered at the community level, such as stepping up the enforcement of laws that prohibit alcohol sales to minors and the regulation of alcohol outlet density, which is the number of places that sell alcohol in a defined geographic area. See https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/pdf/2015/alcohol-aag.pdf Everyone can contribute to the prevention of excessive alcohol use. You can: Choose not to drink too much yourself and help others not do it. If you choose to drink alcohol, follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines on moderate alcohol consumption (no more than one drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men) Support effective community strategies to prevent excessive alcohol use, such as those recommended by the CDC and Wisconsin reports. Not serve or provide alcohol to those who should not be drinking, including children or teens and those who have already drank too much. Talk with your health care provider about your drinking behavior and request counseling if you drink too much. Remember that your children are watching. Your drinking habits set a model that will be with them for the rest of their lives. Missed the highlights? Click here to view previous highlights.