Study author Bob Brewer said, "We need to look at this problem with a wider-angle lens and consider not just treatment for those who need it."
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines "binge drinking" as drinking enough to get your BAC above 0.08 — about five drinks for men or four drinks for women in two hours.
Researchers found binge drinking to be highest in young men — with most coming from households with an annual income of $75,000 or greater.
Yet alcoholism was most common in households with an annual income less than $25,000.
Researchers encouraged people who are alcohol-dependent to seek specialized treatment. Those who are not dependent but drink excessively should consider counseling, the researchers said.
Among the recommendations to lower excessive drinking, researchers suggested stiffer penalties for stores that sell to intoxicated customers and higher taxes on alcohol.
This video includes images from Getty Images and Alexander Rabb / CC BY NC ND 2.0.