The aim of the current article is to identify subgroups of adult drinkers characterized by typical drinking patterns. Data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III were used to classify drinkers based on several indicators of drinking. Past-year drinkers aged 18-64 were included (n = 22,776). Latent class analysis revealed a 5-class model: Occasional, Light Drinkers (28%), Frequent Drinkers (25%), Infrequent Drinkers with Occasional Binging (5%), Frequent Drinkers with Occasional Binging (22%), and High-Intensity Drinkers (20%). Although most were Light Drinkers, many engaged in excessive drinking. Given the potential risk for harm, prevention efforts are warranted particularly for High-Intensity Drinkers.
Keywords: Drinking patterns; heavy episodic drinking; high-intensity drinking; intoxication; latent class analysis.