This Oklahoma County Has the Most Drinkers in the Whole State


Someone in your community could know the average alcohol consumption rates. However, new research has thrown light on the Oklahoma regions with greater and lower rates of excessive drinking, respectively. Earlier this year, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute published its 2023 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. Its goal is to increase public understanding of the issues that determine national health outcomes and inequality.

The Booze Loving County

Tulsa County’s DUI rate is 20% higher than the state average. According to state data, 27% of Tulsa County residents getting substance abuse treatment at ODMHSAS-supported institutions identify alcohol as their primary drug of choice. Alcohol has a role in 45% of individuals admitted to treatment. With a rate of 21% among those aged 18-34, 14.3% of individuals in Tulsa County reported binge drinking in the previous 30 days.

Some Disturbing Statistics

The monetary cost of drunk driving in Oklahoma in recent years has been $3.08 billion, or $2.49 per drink, owing to crime, healthcare bills, and lost productivity at work.

According to the CDC:

  • Oklahoma has the sixth-highest rate of alcohol-related fatalities in the U.S.
  • 6.1 percent of pregnant Oklahoma women used alcohol throughout the third trimester. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of the most expensive birth defects, costing an average of $250,000 in its first year.
  • In the last decade, 2,205 people died in incidents caused by drunk driving in Oklahoma.
  • Index crimes (including murder, rape, robbery, violent assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) and drug-related offenses saw fewer arrests (30,796) last year.
  • Every year in Oklahoma, 1,350 people die as a result of excessive drinking, resulting in 41,460 lost potential life years.

The Devastating Impact

There are several ways in which alcoholism and alcohol abuse cost businesses money. Alcoholics and others who misuse alcohol are estimated to have four to eight times the absence rate. Alcoholics’ loved ones have a greater percentage of missing employment. Alcoholics and people who misuse alcohol are significantly more likely to be involved in accidents and injuries at work. (American Bureau of Personnel Management).

Alcohol was involved in more than 40% of the approximately 440,000 emergency department visits for drug abuse among patients aged 20 and younger. (Drug Utilization Monitoring System). When tested for alcohol issues, 24 to 31 percent of emergency room patients and up to 50 percent of patients with life-threatening injuries test positive.

Women who drink excessively are more likely to binge, which is defined as four or more drinks in a single session, whereas men prefer to heavy drink, which is defined as eight or more drinks per week for women and fifteen or more for men.

Other Areas

Our neighboring states of Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri had the same percentage of adults who reported drinking excessively (20%). Texas had a somewhat lower rate of 19%. Arkansas and New Mexico followed closely after, with 18% rates apiece. In 19 states, the prevalence of excessive drinking was at least 20%.

Among Oklahoma’s 77 counties, researchers observed that 16% of the population reported excessive drinking in nine. Only Norman, Alfalfa, Ellis, Grant, Woodward, Woods, Pawnee, and Noble counties are located in the northern part of Oklahoma. The rest are all located in the state’s south. Furthermore, researchers from the University of Wisconsin counted the number of deaths caused by drunk driving in each state and county.


Oklahoma experiences considerable difficulties with excessive drinking, notably in Tulsa County, which has a higher DUI rate and more alcohol-related admissions to substance addiction treatment. The economic toll, health consequences, and social expenses are astounding, with high rates of alcohol-related deaths and a significant strain on emergency services. The report underscores the urgent need for comprehensive steps to address alcohol-related concerns while also promoting public health and safety in the state.

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