For most people, the last three years have been incredibly trying. According to the National Institutes of Health, many people turned to drinking alcohol to escape from the feelings they were experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash
Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

For well over a year, it was nearly impossible to escape daily cases and death counts related to COVID-19, which was overwhelming to begin with. Pair that in your face data with other factors like job loss, economic uncertainty, pivoting for childcare/education and supply shortages? It was A LOT. The NIH reports that alcohol consumption increased more during the pandemic than it has in the last 50 years. 

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According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 16% of Idahoans over the age of 18 binge drink at least once per month. The CDC defines heavy drinking as 8 or more drinks per week for a woman or 15 or more drinks per week for a man. They define binge drinking as consuming 4 or more drinks on an occasion for a woman or 5 or more drinks on an occasion for a man. Both of these contribute to excessive drinking.

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps took a look at which counties had the highest prevalence of this kind of behavior. The numbers we pulled include both how prevalent excessive drinking in each county, along with the prevalence of impaired driving deaths in each county. Alcohol related deaths were used to break ties for counties when the excessive drinking rates were the same. 

These Are the 15 Drunkest Counties in the Entire State of Idaho

Based off data compiled by County Health Rankings, these Idaho counties have the highest prevalence of excessive drinking and alcohol-impaired driving deaths.

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