A toast to drinkers

Most American adults admit to drinking alcohol

More than 3 out of 5 American adults—64 percent—say they “have occasion to use alcoholic beverages,” according to a Gallup poll taken in July. Total abstainers account for 36 percent of the population. The percentage of those who occasionally imbibe has averaged 63 since 1939, when Gallup first posed the question. During that time, the number of self-described occasional boozers bottomed out in 1958 (55 percent) and peaked in the mid- to late 1970s (71 percent). Currently, 67 percent of drinkers report having had at least one alcoholic beverage in the past week, 92 percent say within the last three months and 10 percent say it’s been longer since they’ve had a drink.