Arizona is among worst for fatal binge drinking

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX --  Arizona had the 4th highest death rate from alcohol poisoning among all U.S. states, according to a new CDC study.

The rate in Arizona was 18.7 deaths per million people over age 15, based on data from 2010-2012. That rate was among the highest in the nation. 93 people die each year in Arizona from alcohol poisoning.

Alaska had the highest death rate (46.5 per million), followed by New Mexico (32.7) and Rhode Island (22.8).

Alabama (5.3), Texas (5.4) and Illinois (5.6) had the lowest death rates.

What's more surprising is that alcohol poisoning deaths are the most common among middle-aged adults.  Nationwide, a little more than three-quarters of  binge-drinking deaths are of those 35 to 64 years old. Three out of every four deaths are men.

Binge-drinking is to blame for many of these deaths. According to the report, about 38 million U.S. adults binge drink four times per month on average. During those times, drinkers report consuming an average of eight drinks.

"People aren't always aware about what actually constitutes a full alcoholic drink," said Chip Coffey, Director of Outpatient Services at St. Luke's Behavioral Health Center in Phoenix. "At home, many people will serve themselves an eight ounce pour of wine, when an actual serving is five ounces. So although they will say they only had three glasses of wine, they actually consumed closer to five glasses. That's where people get confused, not to mention in trouble."

Alcohol poisoning kills more than six people a day in America, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You can view the entire CDC report here.