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Alcohol Facts and Stats: What Do You Need to Know About Alcoholism?

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

Alcoholism remains as one of the major health concerns in the US, thus, leaving some people curious about alcohol facts and stats. But what do you need to know about this type of substance abuse?

If your search results brought you here, chances are, someone you know, or probably you are experiencing alcohol-related problems. We understand that restraining yourself from consuming alcohol may be difficult. Besides, alcohol is easily accessible, especially if you’ve reached the minimum drinking legal age.

However, it should be noted as well that not all alcohol drinkers are necessarily alcoholics or alcohol dependent. So, we want to give you at least an idea of whether or not a professional help or intervention is needed.

Keep your curiosity and interests high as we talk about all these facts and stats, including reasons for refusing rehabilitation.

Difference Between Casual Drinking and Alcohol Abuse

The difference between casual drinking and alcohol abuse is pretty straightforward. If you think that a casual drinker refers to someone who occasionally drinks alcohol, you’re right. Usually, casual drinkers just consume alcohol as part of socializing. This includes important events, gatherings, or parties. Kudos, if you’re one of those who know how to drink responsibly!

But as you know, this does not apply to everyone. Some are engaged in binge drinking, while others in heavy drinking. Both of these are forms of excessive alcohol use.

Generally, men have a higher alcohol limitation than women. For instance, women drinking eight (8) or more drinks weekly can be defined as a heavy drinker. Whereas, men can have at least 15 drinks weekly before considered as a heavy drinker.

Excessive alcohol drinkers are at a higher risk for alcohol use disorder, the medical term for alcoholism. But as mentioned, you can drink alcohol without necessarily being tagged as an alcoholic. Well, that could be quite good news for you.

Alcoholics are determined through a set of criteria rather than the number of drinks they consume daily. Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, these criteria for alcohol dependence are as follows:

  • Tolerance

  • Withdrawal

  • Impaired control

  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking

  • Continued use despite problems

  • Neglect of activities

  • Time spent in alcohol-related activities

Alcohol Prevalence in the US

Based on the latest 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 86.3% or more than 214 million respondents aged 18 years and older, tried alcohol at least once in their lifetime. Meanwhile, 70% or 173 million drank alcohol in the past year and 55.3% or about 137 million in the past month before the survey.

Imagine, the alcohol prevalence in the US is almost 65% of the population. The majority has tried alcohol at least once, and still, a considerable proportion remains to consume alcohol. There’s a great probability that you’re also part of this statistics.

From these numbers, 14.4 million adults, aged 18 and above, had alcohol use disorder. In terms of sex, more men are suffering from alcoholism than women.

The statistics itself is alarming, right? But did you know that it also reflects the problem concerning underage drinking? Unfortunately, youth and young adults, aged 12-20 years old, are responsible for 11% of all alcohol consumed in the US. This, despite laws banning individuals below 21 years old to purchase alcoholic drinks.

Alcohol-related Accidents and Diseases

In the US, alcohol is considered the third leading cause of preventable death, with approximately 88,000 annual fatalities. Globally, it ranks as the fifth top risk factor for disability and premature death in 2010.

Whenever alcohol-related accidents are brought up, your mind might be quick to think about traffic or vehicle accidents. Well, that’s because according to numbers, alcohol is involved in about 28% of traffic fatalities like drunk driving.

You could also think of several possible scenarios unrelated to vehicle accidents, such as falling or drowning. We are not even talking about diseases like heart problems, cancer, or liver disease that could develop in the long-run.

But the point is, without being a responsible drinker, untimely death won’t be prevented.

Reasons Why Young Adults Refuse Intervention and Rehabilitation

Young adulthood marks the transition from adolescence to adulthood, and this transition is linked with several biological and psychological changes. Maybe you’re not a young adult anymore. But you’ve become one before. So, you have the idea that being a young adult makes you more vulnerable to substance use like drinking.

This age group searches for independence, novelty, and excitement. One of the ways that most young adults express that is through alcohol drinking. Some people may view sobriety as dull and uneventful. As a result, young adults refuse to undergo intervention and rehabilitation even when some badly need it.

Besides alcohol looking fun and exciting, others may also find drinking as a way to release stress. We can’t even deny the role of peer pressure. Because belongingness is an integral part of social groups, lifestyle changes may not be an option.

Just as we understand that shifting from drunkenness to sobriety is difficult and challenging, we also understand the concerns and fear of each individual we encounter. That’s why our intervention and rehabilitation programs aren’t solely focused on working on traumas and relapse prevention.

We want you or your loved ones to believe and realize that sobriety won’t take away the fun, self-expression, and freedom.

Take the First Brave Step

We, at Recovery Blvd Treatment Center, believe that all successful journeys start with a single, brave step. Don’t worry because we will provide a welcoming and inclusive environment where there’s no space for any judgments.

The transition phase won’t be easy, and it’s never the same for everyone. But remember, this is a joint effort between you and our professionals. The success depends not only on your willingness but on your commitment as well.

Stop overthinking because you won’t be fully ready unless you take that first, brave step. Call us at 503-447-5056 or visit us at 1316 SE 12th Avenue Portland, OR 97214.

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