After receiving the dubious distinction of being the hardest drinking county in New Jersey in 2009, fewer adult Bergen County residents engaged in "excessive drinking," in 2010, according to a study by the federal government's Health Indicators Warehouse that used the most recent available data.
In 2010, just under one-fifth (18.3 percent) of Bergen residents attested to "excessive drinking" during a 30-day period, which is defined as regularly drinking at "excessive" amounts or binge drinking on any occasion. That's down from 21.9 percent in 2009, which was higher than any other county in the state.
Women who regularly knock back more than one drink at a sitting during the course of a month are engaging in "excessive drinking." Men who regularly take more than two drinks at a time over a 30-day period fall into the same category.
"Binge drinkers" up the alcohol ante considerably. Women who consume four or more drinks at a single occasion during a month qualify for the label. For men, it takes five or more drinks.
Some 15 percent of New Jerseyans have more than one or two alcoholic drinks when they imbibe, according to Health Indicators Warehouse data.
The 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the most recent data available for individual counties, found that 13.8 percent of New Jerseyans 18 and older had engaged in binge drinking, and 15.1 percent in excessive drinking, in the month before the survey was taken.
The percent drinking excessively in 2010 was lower than in 2009, when 16.1 percent of New Jersey adults reported drinking to excess, but higher than in 2005, when the rate was 14.7 percent.