Most people who drink to excess or binge drink are not alcoholics, a new U.S. government report says.

In fact, 90 percent of those who drink too much aren’t dependent on alcohol. But one in three adults drinks to excess, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“A lot of people mistakenly assume that people who drink too much are alcoholics,” said study co-author Dr. Robert Brewer, the leader of CDC’s alcohol program.

“The surprising finding was that nine out of 10 people who drink too much do not meet the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism,” he said.

Brewer said that some excessive drinkers are “self-medicating.”

“But a lot of it is a reflection of the fact that we live in a society where people get a lot of mixed messages about drinking,” he said. “A lot of people have been led to believe that drinking, and often…

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