NORWALK - More people, especially women, are binge drinking in Connecticut, according to a new study.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that more people in southwestern Connecticut are now considered "heavy drinkers."

The number jumped nearly 20 percent in just seven years, according to University of Washington researchers.

Dr. Eric Collins of Silver Hill Hospital says alcohol abuse can be easy to hide but is very dangerous.

"We see the people who are sometimes driving their children to school and they're still intoxicated from the night before," Collins says.

But the definition of "heavy drinking" surprised some viewers. The threshold is an average of two or more drinks a day for men. For women, it's just one drink.

And there's another hiccup in the drinking study, according to some psychiatrists. Most of the data came from surveying people on landline telephones, not on cellphones. Some professionals say that may no longer be an accurate way to reach people.