Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Substance Abuse
Binge Drinking in the Country of Georgia: Evidence from Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factor Surveillance
(UMD SPH, Family Science Faculty )
Mokhtari, Mitch (University of Maryland), Wallen, Jacqueline (University of Maryland), Kondracki, Anthony (University of Maryland), Piralishvili, Gvantsa (Center for Mental Health and Prevention of Addiction), Sturua, Lela (Non-communicable Diseases Department National Center for Disease Control and Public Health)
Background: Excessive alcohol use that includes binge drinking may be both deadly and costly for any society. This study examines the correlates and prevalence of binge drinking in the country of Georgia to use its findings as a step towards informing national alcohol prevention policies and setting the stage for effective preventive initiatives. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using a nationally representative sample obtained from the WHO Georgia STEPS Survey 2010 database. Primary measurements in the study included frequencies of binge drinking and other sociodemographic information obtained from the database. Multiple logistic regression analyses used models built to estimate the odds of binge drinking in the adult population ages 18-65. Results: In 2010, the prevalence rate of binge drinking in Georgia among the adult population was almost three times higher than in 2003 (30% vs. 11%), and five times more frequent in males than in females. The likelihood of binge drinking was directly related to smoking, education, occupation, and unemployment; however, the strongest positive association was found among binge drinking and smoking. The odds of binge drinking among smokers in the general population were 5.30 (95% CI 4.35- 6.46), for males the odds were 3.09 (95% CI 2.41- 3.97), and for female smokers the odds were 3.00 (95% CI 1.84- 4.89). Conclusions: Our study has important implications for future research and to ascertain a comprehensive approach to policies, programs and preventive interventions centering on distribution and taxation of all kinds of alcoholic beverages, and drinking and smoking reduction through public education on the deadly consequences of excessive drinking in the country of Georgia.