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Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Alcohol stats and alcohol use disorder
Excessive alcohol consumption
General alcohol abuse stats

Alcohol Statistics and Alcohol Use Disorder

One of the most widely abused substances on the planet is alcohol. Alcohol is used by an estimated 140 million Americans, or almost half of the population. Regrettably, the drug is often abused.

Although excessive drinking significantly impacts people's lives and health in the United States yearly, only 6% of Americans with a drinking problem get the necessary treatment.

What is Excessive Alcohol Consumption?

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on people's drinking habits. In some ways, the current pandemic years have aggravated the issue since some anxious or lonely people have turned to alcohol to cope. According to the OECD, most individuals did not change how much they drank due to the epidemic.


However, a more significant proportion did drink more during the pandemic years.

According to the CDC, excessive alcohol consumption includes binging (taking five or more drinks for a man and four or more drinks for a woman on a single occasion). It also contains heavy drinking (taking at least 15 drinks weekly for a man and eight or more drinks weekly for a woman). It is also problematic drinking behavior involving those under 21 or pregnant women.


We've compiled this list of alcohol-related facts and stats to assist you in better understanding the risks of drinking and the scope of the issue.

General Statistics on Alcohol Abuse

Here are some relevant statistics from the NCDAS (National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics) that relate to the issue of alcoholism:


  • Most people in the United States have consumed alcohol at least once. 6.7% of them will develop an alcohol use disorder.

  • 25.8 percent of persons aged 18 grapple with the excessive drinking problem daily.

  • Daily, 261 people in the United States die due to excessive alcohol use, and adults aged 35 and over account for 80% of these fatalities.

  • Alcohol is responsible for 10% of mortality among 15 to 49.

  • Yearly, up to 3.3 million deaths occur due to alcohol misuse worldwide.

  • Alcohol-related fatalities account for at least 5.3 percent of all deaths worldwide (others estimate that the number is as high as 6.0 percent).

  • Alcohol is responsible for 13.5 percent of fatalities between the ages of 20 to 39.

  • Men are three times more likely than women to die due to alcoholism.

  • Due to excessive drinking, the United States loses about 2.7 million solid years of potential life.

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Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Statistics on Alcohol Abuse by Ethnicity and Race

Ethnic alcohol abuse

Alcoholism is a disease that affects people of all ages, sexes, ethnicities, and more. Statistics show that certain racial groups are more susceptible to alcohol abuse than others:

  • The alcohol consumption rate among Caucasian Americans is 10 percent more than African-Americans.

  • Binge drinking is a problem for more than 20% of the Hispanic population in the United States.

  • Drinking habits among Asian Americans are among the lowest of any ethnic group.

  • African-Americans are more likely than other races to develop heart diseases, liver cirrhosis, and cancer due to alcohol addiction.

  • Native American Women have a greater death risk from cirrhosis than women of other racial groups in the United States.

Children and Alcohol Abuse

Children and alcohol abuse

While in high school, a vast proportion of teens and young people experiment with alcohol. Parents and other close relatives considerably influence their children's drinking habits. As your children become older, you must talk to them about drinking alcohol. Statistics from the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics show that underage drinking is a severe problem:


  • Children under 17 with alcoholic parents are much more likely to be diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder (ADD) or learning disability.

  • It is estimated that 1.7% of children between 12 and 17 have autism spectrum disorder (AUD).

  • AUD is 61.5 percent more common in females between the ages of 12 and 17 than in boys of the same age group.

  • 12.1 percent of children aged 17 and younger have a parent who has an alcohol use problem.

  • 18.7 single parents raise the percentage of these children.

  • A child in a single-parent family unit is 47.6% more likely to have an alcoholic father than an alcoholic mother.

  • Alcoholism affects 9.3% of single dads and 6.3% of single moms.

  • Each year, drunk adults cause the death of at least 150 children.

  • 86.2 percent of children whose parents are substance abusers live with an alcoholic parent.

Alcohol Addiction in Firefighting & Military Communities

Firefighters and military alcohol addiction

Many veterans and firefighters are exposed to trauma daily because of the nature of their jobs. As a result, they may turn to alcohol as a means of coping, according to a survey by an NBC affiliate (NBCDFW) :


  • 85% of firefighters admit to consuming alcohol.

  • Heavy (or binge drinking) is reported in almost half of all firefighters. 

  • Nine percent of firefighters drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs at some point during their careers.

In addition, firefighters drink heavily on an average of 10 days a month, or approximately half of their off-duty time off.

What is AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder)?

AUD alcohol use disorder

Alcohol consumption in moderation is probably not dangerous for most people. However, as stated above, millions of adults in the United States suffer from alcoholism (AUD). Because of this, their drinking has hurt their health and well-being. The severity of AUD varies from moderate to severe, based on the presenting signs and symptoms of the condition. Extreme alcohol use disorder (AUD) is sometimes referred to as alcoholism or alcohol dependency.


AUD is an illness that causes:


  • A strong desire to consume alcohol (severe alcohol cravings).

  • Inability to quit after you've begun consuming alcohol.


  • Becoming worried, depressed, and angry if you have not consumed alcohol.

Other symptoms that you may have a problem with alcohol include:


  • Dietary or sleep patterns altered.

  • Focusing less on your appearance.

  • Spending more time among alcoholics.

  • Absenteeism from appointments, lectures, or job obligations.

  • The lack of enthusiasm for once-enjoyable hobbies.

  • Being embroiled in legal issues at school, job, or both.

  • Constant alcohol abuse-related questions from friends or family members.

  • Using alcohol to relieve stress or have fun.

  • Having blackouts.

  • Binging while you are alone.

  • Keeping it a secret from your family and friends.

  • You drink even more to acquire the same "high" or pleasant sensations.

The Dangers of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Dangers of ecessive alcohol consumption

Accidents, chronic illnesses including brain and liver disease, several types of cancer, and poor pregnancy complications are all linked to heavy drinking.

Excessive use of alcohol can cause or worsen many other health problems, including high blood pressure. Liver disease, pancreatitis, and malignant mouth, throat, esophagus, and breast tumors can all be caused by or made worse by excessive alcohol use.

Psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other drug use disorders are also connected to high-risk drinking.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the most common cause of congenital disabilities and developmental disorders that can be prevented, may be caused by alcohol use while pregnant.

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Drinking is generally anticipated during social gatherings, and certain types of red wine, in particular, have been shown to provide health advantages. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, on the other hand, might be harmful to your health. It's important to know that drinking too much alcohol can be dangerous, so these alcoholism statistics and essential facts can help you understand why it's best to drink alcohol in moderation and seek treatment if you or your loved one is struggling with an AUD.

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