It is common knowledge that alcoholism and alcohol abuse are problems that affect us in the United States. However, some recent studies, which quantify and measure alcohol abuse related statistics, are somewhat shocking. The website learn-about-alcoholism.com posted some surprising statistics related to alcohol abuse. They indicate that:
- Alcohol is the #1 drug problem in the U.S.
- There are more than 12 million alcoholics in the U.S.
- Three-fourths of all adults drink alcohol; 6% are alcoholics
- Americans spend a total of $197 million each day on alcohol
- In the U.S., a person is killed in an alcohol-related car accident every 30 minutes
- Nearly 7 million persons age 12 to 20 are binge drinkers
- 75% of all high school seniors report being drunk at least once
- Kids who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics than those who do not begin drinking until the legal age of 21
- People with a higher education are more likely to drink.
- Higher income people are more likely to drink.
These alcohol abuse statistics are somewhat surprising since many stereotype alcoholics or alcohol abusers as lower income, less-educated individuals. Also, the prevalence of abuse is very surprisingly high.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also cite some interesting and shocking statistics related to prevalence of alcohol abuse and mortality rates of alcohol abusers. They indicate that 50.9% of U.S. adults 18 years of age and over are current regular drinkers (at least 12 drinks in the past year). Also, in 2010, there were 15,183 alcoholic liver disease related deaths and 24,518 alcohol-induced deaths—excluding accidents and homicides. (See Source: Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2010, table 27 for more information).
This also brings up an interesting point: what about the statistics involving others affected by alcohol abuse? Many are impacted by alcohol abuse although they are not alcoholics or may not even drink alcohol at all. Learn-about-alcoholism.com also found that alcohol is a factor in the following: 73% of all felonies, 73% of child beating cases, 41% of rape cases, 81% of wife battering cases, 72% of stabbings, and 83% of homicides.
These statistics are tragic considering the innocent victims who have suffered. Also, family members are severely impacted by any one in their home who abuses alcohol. The social, economic, and emotional consequences of living with alcohol abuse are simply too difficult to measure but are very large and far-reaching.