Alcohol Addiction Statistics

Alcoholism statistics are comprised of data that includes alcoholics, how the condition affects their life, family, and colleagues, as well as society as a whole. It is not possible to talk about alcohol addiction statistics without talking about alcoholism as a condition. Alcoholism occurs when one reaches a stage where he or she cannot go through life without drinking alcohol. Many addicts struggle for countless years, or even their entire lives with this chronic problem.

Alcoholics become obsessed with their drink and as a result, they lose control of their alcohol intake and their life. Their drinking becomes much more important than anything else in their lives. This results in problems both in their social and professional engagements. Good parts of the population are able to manage their drinking and are able to drink socially and carry on without any problems.

Alcohol Addiction Statistics

On the other hand, alcoholics are not able to control their drinking. For alcoholics, drinking ceases being a social affair and often turns into an everyday necessity.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), problem drinkers in the U.S. constitute 15% of the entire population. Five to 10% of males and 3 to 5% of females in the initial 15% are alcoholics.

66 million people in the U.S. have been exposed to alcohol dependence at some point in their lives. Most of these people either had siblings, marriage partners, or a problem drinker as a relative.

Alcohol Addiction Statistics

A recent study indicated that 30% of Americans reported going through an alcohol disorder at some point. According to researchers from the University of California in San Diego, men have a higher risk of alcohol-use disorders (at more than 20%) in their lifetimes than women. The risk for alcohol abuse among men stands at 15% while alcohol-dependence risk for the same group stands at 10%.

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism gives a disturbing analogy between alcoholism and age. The age at which a person takes their first drink is vital in determining whether that individual will have a problem with alcohol later on in life. Those who have their first drink before the age of fifteen stand at a greater risk of becoming alcoholics later in life than those who chose to abstain until they are much older.

This scourge has also affected other nations around the world. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are more than 140 million alcoholics in the world. An alcohol addiction statistics report published in Canada shows that alcoholism is responsible for one out of every 25 deaths in the world either directly or indirectly. However, there is still hope for the affected.

Experts estimate that more than 30% of problem drinkers in the world can actually reduce their alcohol intake or stop altogether without obtaining professional help. Currently, more than 30% of males in their teens and twenties have suffered at least one blackout due to binge drinking. Alcoholism also brings about devastating effects on the health of these drinkers.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than two million Americans have an alcohol related liver ailment. Liver cirrhosis is the most common of these conditions. It affects almost 20% of all alcoholics. Alcoholics stand at 10 times the risk of developing opportunistic infections, cancer, and problems involving platelets and blood clotting.

Alcoholism and aggressive behavior share a common link. More than 40% of all aggression incidences involve alcohol use either directly or indirectly. The police spend a huge chunk of their time investigating cases that involve abuse of alcohol, such as domestic violence. The economy also suffers from this scourge. There is a direct link with the 13% sick days filed in the U.S. and alcohol. Employees who have no control over their alcohol intake perform dismally at the workplace by as much as 10%.

Many factors lead to one becoming an alcoholic. According to the American Journal of Public Health, easy access to alcoholic drinks due to their low prices is one of the leading factors. Alaskan researchers recently published a report that showed a direct link between a significant drop in alcohol related fatalities and the introduction of alcohol tax hikes between 1983 and 2002. The hiking of alcohol taxes proved to be a much more effective alcohol-prevention strategy in Alaska by as much as two to four times.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious problem in America. Recent data from the Department of Transportation indicates that almost 40 of all traffic-related fatalities have an alcoholic twist to them. Alcohol addiction statistics involving drunk drivers show that driving under the influence results in one death in every half an hour and one injury in every 60 seconds. DUI offenses in the United States cost the economy more than $50 billion annually.

Untreated addiction leading to alcoholism costs the U.S., taxpayers a whopping $400 billion annually. This means that untreated addiction in the U.S. costs more than three of the nation’s top killers. Alcoholism costs the economy more than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. The above alcohol addiction statistics clearly indicate the pervasiveness of alcoholism in the United States.

The statistics clearly underscore the need for a more aggressive and proactive approach to the scourge. Now more than ever, individuals and communities throughout the country have to either choose to reduce their drinking at the very least, or choose to lead sober lives. When you consider the global angle of this scourge, the need for an even speedier approach becomes clear. It is time that everyone came to terms with the devastating effects that alcoholism has on the family unit, friends, society, and the economy.

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