Alcohol has been used throughout much of human history. There’s even advice in the Bible about drinking wine for what ails the stomach. When used properly, it can be beneficial to one’s health. When it is abused, however, alcohol can become very dangerous.
The percentage of adults 18 years of age and over who are current regular drinkers, defined as having at least 12 drinks in the past year: 51.3%
In the United States, this means that potentially 1 in 2 adults in the 18-21 age demographic are drinking alcohol illegally on a regular basis. Another 12% of adults over the age of 18 have 11 or fewer drinks per year. It is more uncommon to choose not to take a drink than it is to consume at least a little alcohol at some point during the year.
- In 2012, 87.6% of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
- 7 out of 10 adults say that they’ve had at least one drink in the past year.
- 56%. That’s the percentage of adults that have had at least one alcoholic drink in the past 30 days.
- 1 in 4 people who say that they consume alcohol will have at least one session of binge drinking in the past 30 days.
- The percentage of people who qualify as being heavy drinkers: 7%.
- 16.9 million people in the United States meet the clinical definition of having an alcohol use disorder.
- Only 1 in 4 people with an alcohol use disorder will be treated for their condition over the next 12 months.
As marijuana becomes legalized in more states, there have been numerous discussions about gateway drugs and addiction. As the statistics show, most people consume alcohol on a frequent basis. More than 80% of people above the age of 18 have had at least one drink. This makes it one of the most frequently used mood adjusting tools that is consumed in the world today. What do people do when they can’t get the buzz they want from their alcohol of choice? They’ll go to something else. That puts 8 out of 10 adults potentially at risk. As the statistics show, it isn’t just the adults that have problems with alcohol consumption either.
How Many Kids Are Consuming Alcohol?
- 3.4%. That’s the estimated percentage of kids in the United States that meet the definition of having an alcohol use disorder.
- Girls [444,000] are slightly more likely to be abusing alcohol when compared to boys [411,000].
- Boys in the 12-17 age demographic are 2x more likely to see treatment for their alcohol use disorder.
- More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems
- The percentage of 15-year-olds report that they have had at least 1 drink in their lives: 40%.
- 1 in 5 college students also qualify as having an alcohol use disorder.
Children might be 50% less likely to have an AUD, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t at risk. Alcohol can interfere with growth patterns, neurological development, and create other health issues.
With the exception of boys, children are less likely to receive the specialized treatment they need than adults are as well. Underage consumption might be legal for educational or religious purposes in certain states, but having an occasional drink and drinking regularly enough to have an AUD are two very different circumstances.
What Are The Costs of Alcohol Consumption?
- In 2006, alcohol misuse problems cost the United States $223.5 billion.
- More than 70% of the total costs of alcohol consumption are directly related to binge drinking.
- The number of people who are killed every year because of alcohol in the United States: 88,000.
- Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US right now.
- 10,322. That’s the number of driver-related fatalities that occurred on American roadways because of alcohol consumption. That’s 3 out of every 10 fatalities.
- Men are 3x more likely to die from alcohol related caused when compared to women.
- 1,825 college students between the ages of 18-24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
- In 2009, alcohol-related liver disease was the primary cause of almost one-third of liver transplants in the United States.
- Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2009, 48.2% were alcohol related. In the 35-44 age demographic, alcohol-related cirrhosis accounts for more than 70% of cirrhosis deaths.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which occurs when women consume excessive alcohol during a pregnancy, has an occurrence rate of 7 per 1,000 births. This is double the FAS rates found in 1996.
- 696,000 students between the ages of 18-24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
- 6. That’s the number of cancers that have alcohol listed as a major risk factor for development.
If we’re looking to find a way to save money in our annual budgets, then a great place to start would be to lower the costs of alcohol consumption. It isn’t the occasional drink that is causing problems. Even 1-2 drinks per day isn’t really causing us problems. It is the 4-5 drinks in an hour that is problematic for the health system. Binge drinking is killing people. Compare alcohol consumption to marijuana and the fatality figures are incredible. This is why focusing on alcohol consumption habits in every household is so important.
There Is A Global Burden To Alcohol Consumption
- 5.9% of all global deaths area directly attributed to alcohol consumption. That’s 3.3 million people around the world every year.
- Men are 2x more likely than women from a global perspective to die from an alcohol related issue.
- Alcohol contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.
- 5.1 years. That’s how much alcohol consumption contributes to disability average life span figures globally.
Alcohol might be a good thing to have in moderation, but it has to stay in moderation. For over 3 million people in the world today, their drinking habits are going to kill them in one way or another. If they decide to get behind the wheel, then there’s a good chance that they could kill someone else when they leave this world as well. It takes all of us to prevent excessive alcohol consumption if we’re going to get things to change. Otherwise a friend, a loved one, or even you could become one of these statistics in the next year.