Facts and Statistics About Alcohol

If you or someone you love is abusing alcohol, you may want to learn some key facts and statistics about alcohol.

This information will help you understand the potential risks of heavy and frequent drinking.

It will also help you avoid falling into a pattern of harmful alcohol use.

In addition, accurate information will help you recognize the symptoms of serious alcohol problems.

Far too few people with drinking problems seek professional help.

However, this help is available for the vast majority of people.

Timely professional assistance will help you avoid serious, alcohol-related harm.

And if you are already impacted, expert treatment will help you recover your sobriety as quickly as possible.

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Basic Figures on Alcohol Use in America

Current alcohol facts and statistics reveal the popularity of drinking in the U.S. More than 85% of all American adults have consumed alcohol Almost 70% drink in the typical year. In addition, almost 55% percent of U.S. adults drink in the typical month.

These figures make alcohol the nation’s most widely used addictive substance.

Underage drinking is also common.

Roughly 40% of all Americans preteens, teens, and adults below the age of 21 have consumed alcohol at least once. The typical monthly rate of drinking in this age group is just over 18%.

Alcohol use in children below the age of 12 is not tracked by government researchers.

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Facts and Statistics About Alcohol: Problem Drinking

Problem drinking is alcohol use that puts you at-risk for serious health issues. Such issues include alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

They also include:

  • Alcohol poisoning or overdose
  • Drunk driving
  • Increased odds of acting violently or experiencing violence
  • A greater risk of getting injured in some kind of accident
  • A higher chance of chance of experiencing or committing sexual assault or rape
  • Exposure to significant damage in several major organ systems

There are two main types of problematic alcohol use: Binge Drinking and Heavy Drinking. Binge drinking is defined by rapid drunkenness. You are diagnosed with this whenever your blood alcohol level reaches at least 0.08% in two hours or less. Most men reach this state when they consume about five drinks. Most women reach it after consuming about four drinks.

Binge drinking is one possible form of heavy drinking. You also drink heavily whenever you consume a certain amount of alcohol in one day. This is true whether or not you end up drunk. For men, the daily threshold for heavy drinking is four drinks. For women, the threshold is three drinks. The more you binge on alcohol or drink heavily, the higher your chances of becoming addicted.

Some people take part in an extremely dangerous behavior called high-intensity drinking. High-intensity drinkers consume at least double the amount of alcohol required for binge drinking. Such a rate of consumption leaves you far more likely to develop alcohol poisoning or other emergency health issues.

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Facts and Statistics About Alcohol: Emergencies and Fatalities

Almost 19% of all trips to the emergency room in America are alcohol-related. Many of these visits involve an alcohol-related accident. Others are the result of alcohol poisoning or an overdose on multiple substances. In addition, some people experience other emergency issues related to their drinking.

Every year, tens of thousands of Americans die from alcohol-related causes. On top of that, over half of these fatalities involve men. However, many thousands of women are also affected.

Overall, alcohol is the country’s third most common source of preventable deaths.


Facts and Statistics About Alcohol: Alcohol Use Disorder

If you are diagnosed with alcohol problems, you may have either or both of two conditions.

The first of these conditions is non-addicted but damaging alcohol abuse. The second is alcohol addiction or alcoholism. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are closely related, and both conditions lead to serious harm. This is why experts view them as two linked halves of the same illness: Alcohol Use Disorder, or AUD.

You can have up to 11 symptoms of AUD. Most of these symptoms point to the presence of alcoholism, while some point to alcohol abuse. The minimum threshold for an AUD diagnosis is two symptoms within a year’s time. Each individual symptom may be mild, moderate, or severe.

Your overall case of AUD can be mild, moderate, or severe. Moderately affected people have four or five total symptoms. Severely affected people have anywhere from six to 11 symptoms.

Roughly 14.5 million Americans have some form of AUD. Just over 400,000 of those affected are preteens or teens below the age of 18. In the 18 to 25 age range, about three million people have AUD. Among adults over the age of 25, there are about 11 million affected people.

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Facts and Statistics About Alcohol: Prevention and Diagnosis of Problems

You do not need to have AUD before seeking help for alcohol problems. A talk with your doctor will help uncover your risks for future issues. Your doctor can also give you advice on how to modify your drinking and stay healthy.

Both primary doctors and addiction experts have the skills needed to diagnose AUD.

Testing will show:

  • Whether you have at least two AUD symptoms, or have had them in the past year
  • The seriousness of each individual symptom present
  • The seriousness of your overall AUD if you meet the criteria for diagnosis
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Facts and Statistics About Alcohol: Treatment

One of the most striking alcohol facts and statistics is the low rate of treatment for people with AUD. Less than one out of every 10 affected people seek help. This is true even though the illness is treatable through well-researched methods.

How is AUD treated by trained professionals? The first step is entering an alcohol detox program and stopping your frequent drinking. Detox programs help successfully complete alcohol withdrawal. They also help avoid the real dangers of trying to quit drinking on your own.

From detox, you move to an active alcohol treatment program. As a rule, two forms of treatment – medication and behavioral therapy – are used together in alcohol rehabs. Medications are typically given to people with alcoholism symptoms.

There are effective options to help you:

  • Avoid an alcohol relapse while in your treatment program
  • Reduce your willingness to drink
  • Improve brain functions that have been damaged by alcohol use

Behavioral therapy is an active process that focuses on several main areas, including:

  • Identifying habitual thoughts and actions that make you more likely to drink
  • Changing those thoughts and actions so you can support your own sobriety
  • Helping you develop the commitment needed to maximize your alcohol recovery

Several methods are used separately or together to achieve these goals.

Common options include:

  • Couples counseling if you are married or in a relationship
  • Family counseling if you live in a traditional or non-traditional family
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Depending on the seriousness of your AUD, you may need outpatient or inpatient care. Some people require a brief period of hospitalization before moving to other treatment.

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Get More Information on Facts and Statistics About Alcohol

There is a range of helpful facts and statistics about alcohol.

This is important because alcohol use is very common in the U.S.

Most drinkers avoid addiction or other serious harms. Still, millions of people run into major alcohol-related problems.

Two patterns of problem drinking, alcohol binge drinking and heavy drinking, are big sources of risk.

In addition, you may suffer serious or fatal harm from high-intensity drinking.

Most people do not get help for AUD, despite the availability of effective treatment.

Modern AUD treatment is based on a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.

Medication helps you avoid drinking and recover from damaging alcohol use.

Behavioral therapy helps you make personal changes that support your ongoing sobriety.

Need more details on alcohol facts and statistics?

Contact the experts at Emerald Isle Health and Recovery today.

Our staff of specialists has the knowledge needed to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

We are also top-rated providers of alcohol addiction treatment.

Our customized plans allow you to choose just the right options to support successful recovery from AUD.