Union Square, Lower Manhattan Have Most Binge Drinkers in City: Officials

By Heather Holland on February 19, 2014 6:39am 

 Union Square, the Lower East Side and Chelsea were found to have the highest percentage of binge drinkers in the city, officials said.
Union Square, the Lower East Side and Chelsea were found to have the highest percentage of binge drinkers in the city, officials said.
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MANHATTAN — Binge drinking is on the rise in New York City — and it's highest in Lower Manhattan and Union Square, according to a recent Health Department survey.

After surveying about 8,500 residents across the city in 2012, the Health Department found that more than 32 percent of residents of Union Square, Lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village and Chelsea reported binge drinking at least once in the previous month.

Those neighborhoods topped the city's Community Health Survey on binge drinking, which is defined as five drinks or more in one sitting for men and four drinks or more for women.

Overall, 19.6 percent of residents across the five boroughs reported binge drinking in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, up from 17.9 percent in 2011 and 15.5 percent in 2010, the Health Department found.

“The Health Department is concerned about the number of adults who drink excessively, which is both a local and national problem,” the Health Department said in a statement. “We plan to continue our education campaigns to make sure New Yorkers are aware of the serious risks and consequences of binge drinking.”

The Upper East Side and Gramercy also saw a high rate of binge drinking, with 29.5 percent of residents reporting heavy alcohol use, as did Long Island City and Astoria, with 23.1 percent, and northern Staten Island, with 22.5 percent.

The neighborhoods with the least binge drinking included Borough Park, with 9.6 percent of residents reporting booze-fueled benders, and Flatbush with 13 percent.

The Department of Health polled about 8,500 residents in 34 neighborhoods using a computerized telephone survey.

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