Alcohol is a widely used substance. Though some would say small amounts are not a problem, any amount can lead to devastating consequences for those who develop an alcohol use disorder. Understanding statistics for alcoholism, including alcohol driving statistics and alcohol-related deaths, can paint a clear picture of what this drug really does.
National Statistics for Alcoholism
Understanding how alcohol is perceived and used throughout the United States is critical in ensuring people with alcohol use disorder receive the treatment they need. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides a range of insights and statistics about this, including the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The report indicates that of people 18 or older, 86.3% reported drinking alcohol at some point throughout their lifetime. About 70% of those people stated they had a drink in the last year. About 56% stated they had a drink in the previous month.
Statistics for alcoholism are also reported by the same organization. It found 14.1 million adults in the United States had an alcohol use disorder. That accounts for 5.7% of this age group’s total population. Of that, 9 million are men and 5.1 million are women.
Another area of statistics for alcohol abuse involves youth between the ages of 12 and 7. The reports found 443,000 children in the United States suffered from an alcohol use disorder in 2017. That amounts to 1.8% of this age group’s population. Of this, 184,000 were male and 259,000 were female.
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The NIAAA also reports insight from the Journal of the American Medical Association on alcohol-consumption deaths. It reports that each year, about 88,000 people in the United States die from alcohol-related factors. This is made up of 62,000 men and 26,000 women. When compared to other preventable causes of death in the country, alcohol is considered the third most common, following tobacco use and poor diet (and physical inactivity).
Alcohol Overdose Statistics
Alcohol overdose, more commonly known as alcohol poisoning, accounts for a significant number of the alcohol-related deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that, on average, six people die every day from alcohol poisoning. It also found that 76% — or 3 in every 4 — of those preventable deaths are people between the ages of 35 and 64. Of those that die from alcohol use, 76% are men. The highest populations in the United States who face alcohol poisoning are non-Hispanic white people and American Indians/Alaska Natives.
Alcoholism Treatment Statistics
The NIAAA reports that, according to the same 2017 report, only 6.5% of people who have alcohol use disorder actually received treatment. This accounts only for adults. In youth, aged 12 to 17, it found 5.2% of those who had an alcohol use disorder received treatment.
Binge Drinking Facts
Binge drinking is a highly risky form of consumption in which a person consumes a significant amount of alcohol in a short amount of time. The NIAAA states that of people over the age of 18, 26.4% reported engaging in binge drinking in the previous month in 2017. It also found 6.7% stated they participated in heavy alcohol use in the previous month.
The organization classifies binge drinking as consuming enough alcohol to reach a blood alcohol level of 0.08 g/dL within two hours. Typically, this is about four drinks for women and five for men. Heavy alcohol use is defined as a person who is binge drinking on five or more days in the previous month.
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How Popular Is Alcohol Globally?
Alcohol is one of the most commonly used drugs throughout the world. Yet, even so, it plays a big role in addiction statistics. The NIAAA’s same report provides insight into global use and abuse of this drug. The latest insight comes from 2012, where it found 3.3 million people died globally that year from alcohol-related deaths. That accounts for 5.9% of the global population at that time. Of that, 7.6% are men and 4% are women.
The World Health Organization provided insight into alcohol use in 2014. It stated that the use of alcohol contributed to over 200 diseases as well as injury-related health conditions. This includes conditions such as liver cirrhosis, cancers, DSM-IV and injuries. It also noted that, in 2012, 5.1% of global disease and injury were related to alcohol use. Death by consumption is high on that list.
Demographic Statistics of Alcohol Use and Abuse
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 25.1% of people who are over the age of 18 have had at least one heavy drinking day in the previous year. This is considered a day in which five or more drinks for men or four or more drinks for women were consumed.
Another report from the NIAAA provides insight into underage drinking in the United States. It found that underage drinking is a serious public health problem when you consider the number of kids using alcohol either infrequently or routinely. The organization states that, on average, 33% of teens have had at least one alcoholic drink by the time they are 15 years old. By 18, that number jumps to 60%t. It also reports that 7.7 million people between the ages of 12 and 20 reported they had more alcohol than “just a few sips” in the previous month. That data is for just 2015.
Another key aspect of underage consumption is how much they drink. While youth tend to drink less often than adults do, the NIAAA reports that they typically drink more when they do drink. This is because more than 90% of the alcohol consumed by kids between the ages of 12 and 20 is considered binge drinking. In that survey, 5.1 million people in this age group reported binge drinking at least one time in the previous month. Another 1.3 million reported binge drinking in the previous month.
Public Opinion of Alcohol and Perception
Alcohol drinking is considered normal and social behavior in many areas of the country. Yet, perhaps the most impactful data on perception and public opinion comes from college-age use. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2017 found that 53.6% of students enrolled full-time in college reported drinking alcohol in the previous month. These were college students between the ages of 18 and 22. In people outside of the college atmosphere within the same age group, 49.9% reported drinking in the previous month. This led to 1,825 alcohol-related injuries, including motor-vehicle accidents in 2017, as well as 97,000 students reporting sexual assault and date rape and 696,000 students reporting an assault.
Health Care Costs Related to Alcoholism
Alcohol is devastating to the body. The NIAAA reports that it increases the risk of cancers such as those of the liver, breast, mouth, and esophagus significantly. Alcohol-related liver disease was a primary reason for 1 in 3 liver transplants in the United States in 2009. In 2013, an estimated 47.9% of alcohol cirrhosis deaths could be attributed to alcohol use. Alcohol also causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in babies not yet born, accounting for as many as 20 to 50 cases in every 1,000 births.
The most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dates to 2010. At that time, the organization reported that the cost of excessive alcohol use in the country was $249 billion. That is about $2.05 per drink. That cost includes factors such as drops in workplace productivity, health care expenses, criminal justice costs, and losses in motor vehicle crashes. In healthcare, expenses account for 11% of that.
Ready to start? More questions about treatment? If you or a loved one is facing alcohol use disorder or at risk for developing deadly alcohol poisoning, seek out help from our team at FHE. Contact us today to receive immediate help for your needs.
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Ready to start? More questions about treatment?
If you or a loved one is facing alcohol use disorder or at risk for developing deadly alcohol poisoning, seek out help from our team at FHE. Contact us today to receive immediate help for your needs.