The role of alcohol use in emergency department episodes

Michael T. French, Gulcin Gumus, Heather L. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study investigates the association between alcohol use and emergency-department (ED) utilization in the United States using nationally representative data from the 2001 National Health Interview Survey (N = 33,326). Estimates from our probit models indicate that among men, current drinkers are less likely to have visited the ED in the past year than former drinkers. Among women, lifetime abstainers are less likely than current drinkers to have had an ED episode. Finally, frequency of binge drinking significantly increases the likelihood of ED visits for men. The results suggest that focusing solely on problem drinking provides a limited perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2074-2088
Number of pages15
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Binge drinking
  • Emergency department (ED)
  • Episodic drinkers
  • Health care utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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