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Ireland Has Highest Binge-Drinking Rate in Europe

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The latest research will do nothing to diminish the Irish reputation for heavy drinking: a survey from the European Commission (PDF) finds that Ireland has a binge-drinking rate three times higher than the rest of the European Union (EU).

The Irish Times reported April 22 that 19 percent of Irish poll respondents said they consumed five or more drinks at a sitting on a weekly basis, compared to 6 percent in the average EU nation, 3 percent in Portugal, and just 1 percent in Bulgaria.

Interestingly, the survey also found that while 27 percent of Irish people said they drank two or three times weekly, 24 percent said they had abstained from alcohol use in the past year — a sobriety rate that was higher than that in countries like Great Britain, the Czech Republic, and Denmark.

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