The Most Shocking Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Did you know alcohol consumption in the United States has decreased from 1972 to 2002? It’s increasing again, though, especially in certain states. While this is good news for retailers, this is bad news for the whole society.

Many may consider occasional drinking to be safe for the most part, but it can lead to alcohol abuse real fast. This then leads to a lot of complications and problems, including health issues, poor quality of life, violence, and crimes.

Here are alcohol abuse statistics you need to know to learn how much it affects our society.

1. Statistics on Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol is a common practice among Americans. It’s not dangerous in moderate amounts. Still, you do have to go through uncomfortable short-term effects each time you drink.

However, around 51% of adults drink an alcoholic beverage on a regular basis. Regular consumption can increase the risks of alcohol disorders, diseases, and alcohol-related violence.

There are many factors in alcohol consumption. This includes mood, mental health disorders, and genetics. 40% of alcoholism is due to genes with 60% of it from the environment.

Higher education and higher income may also be a factor in alcohol consumption. Those with one or both are more likely to drink.

Those who aren’t married are more likely to have drinking issues than those with happy marriages. However, unhappy marriages can also contribute to alcohol dependency and vice versa. Divorced or separated individuals also have more issues with drinking.

For teens, underage drinking is a common practice, especially during high school. Around 75% of high school seniors have reported being drunk at least once.

Once they go to college, drinking becomes more prevalent and excessive. 86% of teens aged 18 have already drunk alcohol at least once in their lifetime. 71% of the same group said they drank alcohol in the past year, and 56.9% said they had it in the previous month.

Overall, 13% of those aged between 12 and 20 indulge in binge drinking. This can be dangerous as younger people have higher risks of developing a dependency.

2. Alcohol-Related Crimes and Convictions

According to prisoners, alcohol was a factor in their crime 4 times out of 10. This isn’t surprising as alcohol leads many to make poor decisions. Impaired cognitive functions can also lead to impulsive actions, like hitting another person.

What’s surprising is that in spite of the shocking violence and alcoholism statistics, alcohol is still unregulated for the most part. About 86% of all homicides, 73% of child abuse cases, 15% of robberies, and 73% of all felonies involved alcohol.

Alcohol is also a factor in 81% of all domestic abuse cases and 65% of intimate partner violence. It’s also unsurprising that it accounts for 37% of rape and sexual assault cases. Overall, alcohol is a contributing element in 40% of all violent crimes.

In these cases, if the attacker isn’t the one influenced by alcohol, the victim can be the one under the influence. This is because they can be more vulnerable when intoxicated.

Then we also the classic case of driving under the influence, which takes more than 13,000 lives each year. Besides the deaths, 250,000 people come out of alcohol-related car accidents with injuries.

Drunk drivers take 300,000 trips each day, but the police are only able to make 3,200 arrests. This can be a reason why a third of convicted or arrested drunk drivers are repeat offenders. This statistic doesn’t include those who repeat the act without getting caught by the police.

3. Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Around 15.1 million American citizens are alcoholics. It’s about twice as common in men than in women.

Of the 15.1 alcoholic Americans, 3 million people are senior citizens.

This is serious as older people most likely have medications for age-related diseases. Some mild effects of mixing prescription drugs with alcohol are an upset stomach, vomiting, nausea, headaches, and such. It has some serious effects, as well, like a heart attack, internal bleeding, brain damage, and more.

Furthermore, an old body has a different reaction to alcohol than a young and able body. Even without prescription drugs, drinking alcohol at an old age is still risky. The negative effects may be greater on their body and it increases the risks of getting diseases.

The older one in the family isn’t usually the only one with alcoholism, though. It can be the parent, too, as 6.6 million minors have at least 1 alcoholic parent in their home.

Due to this, many children become exposed to alcoholism before they turn 18 years old. Most adults in the United States have a relative who has/has had alcoholism at some point.

This can affect the risks of developing alcoholism later. As we outlined below, minors can also develop it earlier than their usual.

Even if they don’t develop alcoholism, having exposure to alcohol abuse within the family can have severe negative impacts on their lives. Children can develop trust issues, a compulsive personality, feelings of isolation, and such. If the alcoholic parents beat the child, it can lead to more serious complications later on.

4. Children and Teen Alcohol Abuse Statistics

12.9% of teens aged 13 to 17 years old have admitted to drinking alcohol within a month prior. That seems small, but underage drinking is more prevalent than that. Around 7 million people between the ages of 13 and 20 are already binge drinkers.

20% of college students have alcohol use disorder, according to its criteria. Around 25% miss class, receive poor grades, fall behind on assignments, and such due to alcohol.

Teens are most likely to die from a car crash involving alcohol. Such instances most likely have an underage driver with alcohol in their system.

Teens can also develop brain damage that can impair the quality of their lives when they get older. They are also more prone to getting involved in fights, sexual assaults, and such.

Alcoholism isn’t even something that’s exclusive to teens and older. It also affects children; about 500,000 children aged 9 to 12 are already dependent on drink.

It should take about 15 years for a person to become dependent. This process is shorter if one started at an earlier age.

The earlier one starts, the more problems they will have, as well. This includes poor academic performance, some behavioral issues, and such. They are 4 times more likely to develop an addiction than those who drink for the first time beyond 15 years old.

5. Statistics on Diseases and Deaths Due to Alcohol

Drinking too much is the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It only follows tobacco use and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Around the globe, it’s the 5th leading risk factor for deaths and disabilities. In most cases, this is because it leads to a host of other diseases over time.

It can lead to health issues in the liver, pancreas, and immune system. In 2013, a whopping 48% of all cirrhosis deaths in 2013 have associations with alcohol. It can also cause high blood pressure, irregular beating, and other cardiovascular problems.

Abusing alcohol can even lead to cancer of the throat, colon, kidneys, liver, and more. At the moment, 5.8% of all deaths due to cancer involved in alcohol use.

About 56% to 92% of people with alcohol addiction also suffer from mental health disorders. Depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder usually occur alongside alcoholism.

Then we also have the alcoholism disease itself, which cuts the life expectancy by 26 years. Around 95% succumb to this disease due to the several complications it causes.

Even those who are trying to get rid of the alcohol in their system are at risk. 1 in 5 alcoholics who attempt to do this without medical help die due to alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Delirium tremens, in particular, is a potentially fatal complication. It has a mortality rate of 3% to 15% per year.

Alcohol is a leading cause of car crashes worldwide, too. In 2016 alone, 10,497 people died in an alcohol-related car crash. That made up 28% of all traffic deaths in the country during that year.

The same studies show alcohol is also a factor in 50% of deaths in industries and 47% of workplace deaths.

6. Statistics on Pregnancy and Alcohol

Any amount of alcohol consumed while a baby is developing in the womb puts it at risk. Drinking alcohol increases the chances of the baby developing mental, developmental, and emotional disorders.

This is because alcohol has a direct path to the fetus via the umbilical cord. Once it reaches the baby, it can then affect the central nervous system, the brain, and more.

Since they don’t have a formed liver yet, they absorb all of the alcohol. They’ll have the same alcohol content in their blood as their mother. As the mother drinks more, the effects of alcohol become cumulative.

Aside from these issues, alcohol consumption also increases the risks of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion up to 4 times. It can also affect the chances of getting pregnant. Excessive drinking before pregnancy will still have negative effects on the developing fetus.

What makes it surprising is that 1 in 10 women still reported drinking alcohol in spite of these risks. Due to this, 1 in 100 babies born has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It has become as common as autism, and it’s more prevalent than SIDS, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and such.

Those with FAS only have a life expectancy of 34 years, but it doesn’t get as much attention as other fetal diseases.

Pregnant women also have high chances of premature birth and low birth weight. Both will further increase the risks of the baby developing problems after birth.

The only way to protect the baby is to cut out alcohol altogether. If the mother has an alcohol dependency, she will require professional help. This will allow her to cut out of it in the safest way possible for both her and the baby.

7. Costs of Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction costs each American $1,000 each year. That amounted to a total of $220 billion to the U.S. economy in 2005.

Businesses in our society spend billions each year due to alcohol problems, as well. On average, the cost to business is about $186 billion per year.

Not only does alcoholism costs the society billions, but treating it is expensive, too. Alcohol abuse comes with a host of other health disorders. Treating alcoholism itself and the health issues associated with it costs more than the treatment for cancer.

Cancer care costs America about $174 billion each year. That makes it one of the most expensive diseases to treat. The only diseases ahead of it are Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, and heart disease plus stroke.

This means alcoholism is on par with these diseases. Yet, it doesn’t receive as much coverage as these diseases do.

Overall, excessive alcohol consumption has a negative impact on the U.S. economy. A major factor of why this is so is the loss of productivity.

The alcohol abuser will lose income when they skip work. They’ll lose money also when treating an alcohol-related disease or injury. They will also miss career advancement opportunities and may even lose their job.

The employer may also lose productivity if they fail to have someone else fill in the tasks of the employee.

The society also loses something. The government pays for 40% of the costs of excessive consumption. A huge chunk of it going to loss of productivity.

Alcohol Abuse Destroys Lives, But It’s Curable

According to these alcohol abuse statistics, alcohol is something the society should take as a serious matter. The good news is that alcoholism and its effects are both preventable and curable.

If you know you or someone has the genetic composition for alcoholism, you need to how to prevent it. You also have to know the right treatment plans to get out of alcoholism.

Contact us today and let’s discuss how you or a loved one can get out of this.

References

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.