A provocative opinion piece by Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, accuses Americans of binge drinking excessively to escape reality.
According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, more than 38 million U.S. adults, or roughly one in every six, binge on alcoholic drinks four times a month. Most common among young adults ages 18–34, binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on an occasion. On average, Americans who binge consume up to eight drinks within a few hours, the CDC report states.
While binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, “the largest number of drinks consumed per occasion is significantly higher among binge drinkers with household incomes of less than $25,000—an average of eight to nine drinks,” states a CDC news release.
According to Ablow in “America is drunk,” people are drugging themselves with booze to suppress their anxiety and ignore painful facts, “including the precarious state of the economy, the gathering storm represented by militant Muslims, in general, and Iran, in particular, the crumbling state of marriage in this country, the fact that our borders are being overrun, and the fact that our health care insurance system is in shambles (to name just a smattering of the troubles we desperately need to address)….”
But Ablow connects drinking—a “non-experience” that “can contaminate the rest of your life”—to his other perceived societal ills: “[W]e as a nation are drinking, drugging, gambling, smoking, Facebooking, YouTubing, Marijuaning, Kardashianing, Adderalling, Bono-ing (as in thinking of Chaz’s sad flight from reality as good), Prozacking, Twittering, and Sexting ourselves into oblivion.”
The psychiatrist and author on overcoming depression, anxiety disorders and other psychological challenges asserts that a large portion of the American population “wants to not be present for significant portions of every single week,” and it’s a problem. “It’s time America detoxed,” he says.