In 2021 the average Louisianan consumed 654 alcoholic beverages.
Even though that is two-percent less than the year before, Dr. Patricia Molina, Director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center at LSU Health Sciences says that is approaching the danger level.
"That is a significant amount of drinking and that is within the range of being considered unhealthy," Molina says.
Molina says the dangers of consuming more than 12-drinks a week are manifested in the physical world as well as the human body:
"A person's risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident, of falling, of drowning, of getting into a violent altercation with those around them."
But Molina says over time, most of the damage done is to the human body.
And it's not just the liver that’s at risk.
"It's important to recognize that organs such as the skeletal muscle, the heart, the pancreas, the kidneys and clearly the brain all can be significantly impacted by these levels of alcohol consumption."
Heavy drinking also raises issues among people who are suffering with a chronic illness.
"This becomes even a greater problem in individuals that have existing comorbidities, such as HIV infection, diabetes, cardiovascular disease," Molina explains. "In addition, it becomes even more complicated in individuals that are taking other medications. Because of the potential risk of cross-toxicity."
Now while Louisiana doesn't lead the nation in average drinks per year—that's New Mexico with 787.
It's not close to the bottom of the list—which is Hawaii and New Hampshire with 520 drinks in a year.
Molina recommends people take a look at the amount of alcohol they are consuming and start to cut back on their drinking before serious damage is done.