With three colleges and a healthy football culture providing countless reasons to celebrate, Tallahassee raises its glass more than any city in Florida, according to The Tallahassee Democrat.
Using 2014 numbers assessing the number of self-reported heavy drinkers, Delaware-based Wall Street 24/7 issued a report ranking cities’ drunkenness across the U.S.
Of the 22 metro areas in Florida, Tallahassee ranked the highest with 22 percent of adults reporting binge or heavy drinking.
Chalk it up to the dozens of bars around town.
With happy hours and themed parties every night, Florida State University being named twice in a decade in Playboy Magazine’s top ten party schools and an open spigot goading people to enjoy a libation, there is no shortage of places to grab a drink.
Neighboring Wakulla County, included in the Robert Wood Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Joint Health Institute, ranks at 23 percent with the highest number of binge drinkers in the state.
Nationwide, Appleton, Wisconsin, reported the highest number of excessive drinkers with 27 percent of adults reporting heavy drinking.
All that drinking sends people to seek help, but the number has remained steady over the past few years, said Apalachee Center President Jay Reeves.
The clinical psychologist at the detox and mental health center said 757 detox admissions came through the door last year, averaging about nine a week. Sixty percent of them were for alcohol.
“We haven’t seen a huge spike anywhere,” Reeve said. “But we see things on a cyclic basis. Some days it’s filled to the brim and then there are days when there are only a few people.”
The average stay is three days during which patients, who are mostly men age 35 to 50, are stabilized medically and monitored while counseling and grief services are offered while they seek more long-term help.
It's uncommon to see college students in the center, but Reeve agreed that Tallahassee’s revolving student populations and the associated culture were likely factors in the number of self-reported excessive drinking.
“Having large colleges adds a level of volatility to the population,” he said. “You’ve got a new crop of kids coming every year and a new crop leaving every year.
“You add to that the alcohol culture surrounding colleges and game day and that is generally a big piece.”