Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults who acknowledged drinking in the past year, ALCAMT reports the average number of alcoholic beverages consumed by sample adults on the days that they drink or drank. Alcoholic beverages include liquor, beer, wine, wine coolers, and any other type of alcoholic beverage."
ALCAMT accommodates responses of from less than 1 to 95+ drinks. Researchers should exercise caution in interpreting very high values for ALCAMT; persons who gave a response of, for example, 95+ drinks may have misunderstood the question (e.g., they may have given a response related to the number of days that they drank or related to a different reference period, such as the number of drinks per year).
The National Center for Health Statistics did not edit responses in ALCAMT to insure consistency with responses to other questions related to the level of alcohol consumption in the past year, such as the number of days per year that the respondent consumed 5+ drinks (ALC5UPYR).
In 1988, the question does not specify the average number of drinks over any period of time; respondents estimate the average number of drinks they consume on the days they drink alcohol. In subsequent years, the question asks specifically about average alcohol consumption on the days the person drank in the past year.
In addition, the 1991 sample is limited to adults ages 18-44 while all other samples include all sample adults who drank in the past year.
- 1988: Sample adults ages 18+ who have had at least 12 alcoholic beverages in the past year.
- 1991: Sample adults age 18-44 who drank in the past year.
- 1997-2003: Sample adults age 18+ who drank in the past year, including those who did not know how often.
- 2004-2018: Sample adults age 18+ who drank in the past year.
- 1988, 1991, 1997-2018