Excessive Alcohol Consumption Harms Wisconsin Communities, Says Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project | WUWM 89.7 FM

Alcohol plays an important role in Wisconsin culture, but this relationship with alcohol can be unhealthy. The state has the highest binge drinking rate in the nation, including 7 of the 10 most drunken metro areas, according to 24/7 Wall Street’s binge drinking rate analysis.

Michael Waraksa for Milwaukee Magazine

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But efforts are being made to change that and improve the health and quality of life for communities across the state. Maureen Busalacchi is the director of Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project at Medical Collegewhich appeared in this month’s edition Milwaukee Magazine article, “Does Wisconsin have a drinking problem?She says that although the problem of heavy drinking is often blamed on alcoholism, it is only a small part of the overall problem.

“Excessive alcohol consumption accounts for about 75% of alcohol-related harm in our society. Not all heavy drinkers, or even most heavy drinkers, have an alcohol use disorder. The CDC estimates that 89 percent of people who drink alcohol don’t have an alcohol use disorder,” says Busalacchi.

Binge drinking in Wisconsin is a big part of the culture in many parts of the state, and in all counties, rates of binge drinking far exceed the national average. Busalacchi says that while overcoming this culture can be difficult, some material changes could help.

“It’s really about making sure people aren’t overserved. It’s really about deciding what message we want to send to our kids in our community about drinking in open spaces. “There are a lot of things going on to bring our culture back to a more normal level because we let it creep in and suddenly it seems like it’s part of everything,” explains Busalacchi.

By decreasing the number of places where people can buy alcohol and holding public events where alcohol is not available, Busalacchi says we can begin to change this culture.

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