nesarc_drinkspdR Documentation

The Usual Daily Drinking Habits of Americans (NESARC, 2001-2)


This toy data set is loosely modified from Wave I of the NESARC data set. Here, my main interest is the number of drinks consumed on a usual day drinking alcohol in the past 12 months, according to respondents in the nationally representative survey of 43,093 Americans.




A data frame with 43093 observations on the following 8 variables.


a numeric vector and sequence from 1 to the number of rows in the data


a numeric vector for the ethnicity/race. 1 = White, not Hispanic. 2 = Black, not Hispanic. 3 = AI/AN. 4 = Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander. 5 = Hispanic or Latino.


a numeric vector for the Census region. 1 = Northeast. 2 = Midwest. 3 = South. 4 = West


a numeric vector for age in years


a numeric vector for sex. 1 = female. 0 = male


a numeric vector for marital status. 1 = married. 2 = living with someone as married. 3 = widowed. 4 = divorced. 5 = separated. 6 = never married


a numeric vector for education level, recoded from s1q6a in the original data. 1 = did not make it to/finish high school. 2 = high school graduate or equivalency. 3 = some college, but no four-year degree. 4 = four-year college degree or more.


a numeric vector for the number of drinks of any alcohol consumed on days drinking alcohol in the past 12 months. This variable is “as-is” from the original data set.


You will not want to use the s2aq8b variable without recoding it first. Those who cannot recall how much they typically drink (i.e. true “don't knows” or missing info) are coded as 99. Non-drinkers are coded as NA in the s2aq8b variable and should be recoded as 0. Any value between 1 and 98 in the variable represents the, for lack of better term, “true” number of alcoholic drinks a respondent says s/he typically consumes on a day drinking alcohol in the past 12 months, though this is evidently preposterous as a count variable. A person drinking 42 alcoholic drinks a day would not be alive to tell you they did this. The researcher may want to employ some sensible right censoring here.


National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)—Wave 1 (2001–2002)