Statistics About Alcoholism
Alcohol is a major part of American culture. In spite of the fact that “social drinking” is deeply entrenched in societal standards, and in spite of the fact that the majority of social gatherings and major events revolve around beer, wine and liquor, there are a great number of individuals who cannot safely consume even one adult beverage without triggering what Alcoholics Anonymous calls an “allergy to alcohol” — an uncontrollable physical craving and obsession of the mind caused by a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.
This fact, however, doesn’t make drinking any less prevalent. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 85.6 percent of American adults over the age of 18 reported consuming alcohol at least once in their lives, 25.8 percent of men and women over the age of 18 reported binge drinking at least once within the past month in the year 2019, and 14.5 million adults over the age of 12 suffered from a diagnosable alcohol use disorder during the same year.
If you have struggled with alcoholism firsthand or if you have watched a loved one battle with an alcohol abuse disorder of any severity, you know how deeply devastating and destructive the disease of addiction can be. It is a complex and baffling disease in the sense that the afflicted always seems to be the last to know that something is amiss. “A problem? Me? I haven’t got a problem. I can quit drinking anytime I’d like to – I simply wouldn’t like to just yet.”
The truth is that alcohol addiction claims thousands of lives on an annual basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for upwards of 95,000 deaths every single year. This equates to roughly 261 deaths a day — in the US alone. It is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
10 Facts About Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction leads to a wide range of irreversible health conditions including heart disease, liver disease and several life-threatening types of cancer. Alcohol is also responsible for a major percentage of motor vehicle crashes, and is the chemical substance most commonly found during the toxicology reports of men and women who have committed suicide. While alcoholism can be devastating, the good news is that recovery is possible. The Pine Tree Recovery Center’s treatment program for alcohol abuse is highly individualized and comprehensive, and serves men and women of all ages in Maine and all surrounding areas.
Many people understand the basics when it comes to alcohol abuse and addiction — but the implications of alcoholism are actually far more severe and far-reaching than most people realize. We have compiled a list of 10 facts about alcohol abuse and addiction. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Pine Tree Recovery Center at any point in time.
- Underage drinking is a huge problem in the US – According to the National Institute of Health, In the U.S. alone, approximately 5,000 individuals who are under the legal age of drinking lose their lives to alcohol every single year. Causes of death include alcohol poisoning, motor vehicle accidents, homicides, suicides and other related injuries.
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- Alcohol abuse is related to other health issues that cause fatal diseases – In 2019, of the 85,688 liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older, 43.1 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 53,486 liver disease deaths occurred, and 45.6 percent involved alcohol. Among females, 32,202 liver disease deaths occurred, and 39.0 percent involved alcohol.
- Prolonged alcoholism can lead to a condition known widely as “wet brain” – Scientifically known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, this condition is irreversible and leads to a host of serious symptoms including permanent memory loss, personality changes, disorientation, confusion, hallucinations and a propensity to get frustrated quickly. This condition is largely caused by Thiamine deficiency.
- Teen alcohol abuse is responsible for more deaths than all drug-related deaths combined – Again, underage drinking is one of the most severe alcohol-related issues faced by America as a whole.
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- Alcohol abuse and prescription opioid overdose are closely interlinked – Not only does excessive alcohol consumption lead to an increase in risk-taking behavior (therefore leading to an increase in drug abuse), but many individuals who abuse prescription opioids also drink in order to enhance their sedative effects. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol contributed to 22.1 percent of overdose deaths related to prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.
- The CDC reports that roughly 30 men, women and children lose their lives in an alcohol-related car crash – every single day. This equates to one life lost every 50 minutes.
- Alcohol consumption is costly – In the year 2010 alone it was estimated that alcohol abuse and addiction cost the US upwards of $249 billion. The economic consequences associated with alcohol abuse are consistently severe. Men and women who drink to excess suffer lost employment opportunities, spend more money on drinks, have a decreased eligibility for loans and financial aid and tend to have more legal or healthcare-related expenses.
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- Treatment admissions are common – While the majority of men and women who desperately need treatment fail to seek it, cases of alcohol abuse and dependence make up the majority of treatment admissions in the US – 2.5 million out of the 3.9 million annual admissions annually.
- Alcoholism and spousal abuse are closely interlinked – Ample research points towards the fact that alcohol increases partner violence, along with a host of related issues including infidelity, childcare problems and financial difficulties.
- A significant amount of men and women who are currently incarcerated were arrested while they were intoxicated – An article published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that roughly one out of every four violent crimes reported annually in the US is directly linked to alcohol. This equates to 2.7 million of the 11.1 million violent crimes reported every year. In 20 percent of all incidents, alcohol use was solely responsible. In 5 percent of all violent crimes the offender was intoxicated with a combination of alcohol and another chemical substance.
If you have been struggling with alcohol abuse or dependence, it is important to understand that recovery is possible, but that it cannot be achieved without some level of professional intervention. To learn more about alcohol addiction recovery options, reach out to Pine Tree Recovery Center today.
Alcohol Addiction Recovery
At Pine Tree Recovery Center we believe that effective and comprehensive addiction treatment services should be readily available to men and women in Portland, Maine and all surrounding areas. Every journey of recovery begins with medically monitored detox. This stage of treatment is even more essential when it comes to alcohol withdrawal. The symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal can be severe — even life-threatening — when they are left untreated. At Pine Tree Recovery Center we provide our clients with a safe and pain-free alcohol withdrawal as we thoroughly prepare them for the next stage of the recovery process. We offer a range of addiction treatment services including case management services, a thorough addiction assessment, individual and group therapy sessions and aftercare planning. If you or someone close to you has been struggling with alcohol abuse or dependence, a lifetime of fulfilled recovery is only a phone call away. Contact us today.
Reviewed for accuracy by:
LCSW, LADC, CCS
Randi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Supervisor who has over 20 years of experience in the field of mental health and addictions. She has worked in both clinical and administrative leadership roles and also has extensive career experience in gender specific trauma treatment, crisis intervention, structural family work and substance use disorder treatment and supervision.