(NEXSTAR) – Researchers found people were drinking more during the COVID-19 pandemic than before. Despite Americans apparently being a part of that trend, based on the increase in alcohol sales nationwide, a recent global survey found the drunkest country isn’t the U.S. It’s Australia.
The Global Drug Survey asked 32,000 people in 22 countries about their substance use in 2020 and found Australians, on average, consumed alcohol to the point of drunkenness nearly 27 times throughout the year. Coming in slightly behind Australia were Denmark and Finland, with respondents from both countries averaging roughly 24 times a year. Rounding out the top five were the United States at 23.1 times and the United Kingdom at 22.5.
At the bottom of the list were Germany and Romania at 10.6, New Zealand at 10.3, and Mexico at 8.9.
For this survey, drunk was defined as “having drunk so much that your physical and mental faculties are impaired to the point where your balance/speech was affected, you were unable to focus clearly on things and that your conversation and behaviours were very obviously different to people who know you.” On average, those surveyed reported being drunk 14.6 times a year, slightly more than once a month.
When asked if they regretted getting drunk, Australians responded, on average, they regretted it about 24% of the time. Irish respondents most often regretted getting drunk, according to the survey. The second drunkest countries, Denmark and Finland, reported the fewest incidents of regretting their drinking. The top reason people regretted getting drunk was drinking too much too quickly at 49% following by “mixed my drinks.”
Just over 1% of those surveyed say they sought medical attention following alcohol usage.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers binge drinking (consuming four or more alcoholic beverages per occasion for women or five or more drinks for men) and heavy drinking (consuming eight or more alcoholic beverages per week for women or 15 or more alcoholic beverages per week for men) as excessive drinking.