Friday, August 16, 2013

The List of What People Drink Before Showing Up to the ER Sounds About Right

NBC News- Many people who end their Friday or Saturday nights in a hospital emergency room have been drinking alcohol. In fact, public health experts estimate that about one-third of all injury-related ER visits involved alcohol consumption.But what, exactly, are people drinking? What types of alcohol and even what brands? Is there a direct link between advertising and marketing and later injury? Until now, those questions have been unanswerable, frustrating alcohol epidemiology researchers. But if results of a pilot study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health hold up, there may soon be a way to connect the dots. When the Hopkins researchers surveyed ER patients who’d been drinking, they found that Budweiser was the number one brand consumed, followed Steel Reserve Malt Liquor, Colt 45 malt liquor, Bud Ice (another malt liquor), Bud Light, and a discount-priced vodka called Barton’s. Though Budweiser has 9.1 percent of the national beer market, it represented 15 percent of the of the E.R. “market.” The disparity was even more pronounced for Steel Reserve. It has only .8 percent of the market nationally, but accounted for 14.7 percent of the E.R. market. In all, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice, and another malt liquor, King Cobra, account for only 2.4 percent of the U.S. beer market, but accounted for 46 percent of the beer consumed by E.R. patients.

Bud is always going to dominate the number one spot here. Considering it’s the official drink of everyone below the Mason Dixon line and knowing there’s something about Bud that makes you either want to shoot something or light shit on fire when you drink it, you’re predisposed to ending up in the ER whenever you make it your adult beverage of choice. For me the real story here is the Steel Reserve stat. Only .8% nationally but 15% of the ER market is absurd. That alone tells you everything you need to know about Steel and the people who drink it: it’s a beverage infused with the soul of an angry homeless man and 8% alcohol marketed to someone (often an angry homeless man) who wants to do as much self-destruction as possible without having to pay a premium. Deciding to get a 40 of Steel Reserve is like one step below buying heroin- they’re both cheap, they the job done quick and you’re going to regret ever buying it in the first place the second you wake up from passing out next to a lawn chair covered in broken glass. But it’ll be a pretty sweet ride up until that point.

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