Alcohol is a liquid that is classified as a depressant, as it slows down vital functions of the body and mind, resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and an inability to react quickly. Alcohol is most known for reducing a person’s ability to think rationally and distorting his or her judgment. Alcohol is also known as booze, brew, hooch, juice and sauce.
In Iowa, while progress is being made to reduce the underage drinking and adult binge drinking rates, they are still a cause of concern. The Iowa Youth Survey for 2014 shows more than one in five Iowa 11th graders drank alcohol in the past month, and 23 percent of eighth graders reported drinking alcohol before turning 13 years old.
Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in Iowa and binge drinking is a common form of alcohol consumption. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016) defines binge drinking as five or more alcoholic drinks for males and four or more alcoholic drinks for females on the same occasion. According to the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 20 percent of adult Iowans (over 400,000 people) engaged in binge drinking. This is similar to the national rate of 16 percent. In 2015, Iowa ranked fifth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for the percentage of adults who binge drank (CDC, 2016a). Despite decreasing by 13 percent between 2011 and 2015, binge drinking remains a serious public health concern in Iowa.