Alcoholism continues to be a problem for many and recent statistics from www.cdc.gov (centers for disease control and prevention) from 2013 definitely concur. They indicate that in 2013 the “percent of adults 18 years of age and over who were current regular drinkers (at least 12 drinks in the past year) was 51.3%. And, the percent of adults 18 years of age and over who were current infrequent drinkers (1-11 drinks in the past year) was 12.9%. They go on to say that, “while most people are safe and responsible drinkers, statistics show that the minority who consume excess quantities on a regular basis have an impact that “ripples outward to encompass their families, friends, and communities,” citing the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). That is to say, that while the above 2013 statistics may not be shocking, they do show that many individuals consume alcohol often and this consumption does filter down to other groups who abuse alcohol.
Some interesting facts listed in accordance with high rates and statistics concerning alcohol abuse (as reported by learn-about-alcoholism.com ) indicate the following:
- More than 100,000 U.S. deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year. Direct and indirect causes of death include drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, falls, cancer, and stroke.
- 48 percent of persons aged 12 and over in the U.S. are drinkers This translates to an estimated 109 million people.
- Nearly 18 million Americans (8.5 percent of adults_ meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism. For diagnostic criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMV-IV), click here.
- Alcohol abuse and dependence is more common among males than females and decrease with aging.
- The progression of alcoholism appears to be faster in women than in men.
- More than one-half of American adults have a close family member who has or has had alcoholism.
- Approximately one in four children in the U.S. under 18 years old is exposed to alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence in the family.
- Alcohol is the top drug of choice for children and adolescents.
- Each day, 7000 children in the U.S. under the age of 16 take their first drink.
- Children of alcoholics are significantly more likely to initiate drinking during adolescence and to develop alcohol use disorders.
- Approximately 20 percent of persons aged 12 or older participated in binge drinking at least once in the 30 days prior. Binge” drinking means having five or more drinks on one occasion.
- The highest prevalence of binge and heavy drinking was for young adults aged 18 to 25, with the peak rate occurring at age 21.
- More than 35 percent of adults with an alcohol problem developed symptoms such as binge drinking by age 19.
- Alcohol–related crashes (i.e., those in which a driver or pedestrian had a blood alcohol concentration greater than zero) account for 41 percent of all fatal car accidents.
- Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes.
- The economic costs of alcohol abuse in the U.S. are estimated to be approximately $185 billion annually.
Each one of these points about alcohol is concerning, however, those facts dealing with children and adolescents are even more noteworthy as a new generation is brought into contact with this addiction and these abusive cycles.