Alcohol is one of the most popular types of beverages that are consumed in the world today. Coming in three distinct forms: beer, wine, and spirits, the demographics of alcohol consumption are surprisingly high, even in the underage categories.
More than 87% of people who are 18 or older state that they have consumed alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
Demographics of Alcoholism
Consuming alcohol can take on many forms. The average person is going to consume a few drinks per week without an issue. It is when the consumption of alcohol begins to take a priority in a person’s life that addiction can occur. Alcoholism can have an immediate and very negative effect on a person and everyone who is around them.
- 17 million. That’s the estimated number of adults who are above the age of 18 that have some form of an alcohol use disorder.
- Men are 2x more likely to be struggling with alcoholism when compared with women.
- About 1.4 million adults received treatment for their alcoholism at a specialized facility in 2012.
- In the 12-17 age demographic, it is estimated that alcoholism effects about 3.4% of kids.
- About 75% of the economic costs of alcohol abuse is related to binge drinking. The total cost of alcohol misuse in the United States is over $220 billion every year.
- 24.6 percent of people ages 18 or older have reported that they engaged in at least one incident of binge drinking within the past month.
- About 88,000 people die from an alcohol related cause every year. This makes alcoholism the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Alcoholism is something that destroys people, their families, and even their communities. All it takes is one incident of drunk driving to change lives forever and alcoholics jump behind the wheel all to frequently. What is especially problematic is the fact that alcoholism can affect anyone at any age. About 3 out of every 100 kids above the age of 12 is struggling with this issue right now. It is a burden that makes everyone suffer and many realize this, but the addiction to alcohol makes it difficult for that addiction to be overcome.
Alcoholism Is A Global Epidemic
- 3.3 million. That’s the total number of global deaths that are attributed to alcohol consumption annually. That’s 5.9% of all global deaths on an annual basis.
- Alcoholism contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.
- 40% of 15 year olds say that they’ve had at least one alcoholic drink in their lifetime.
- 1 out of every 10 American kids is living with at least one parent who is struggling with alcoholism right now.
- 1.7 million people in the 12-20 age demographic are classified as heavy drinkers and qualify as suffering from alcoholism.
- In the 15-49 age demographic, alcoholism is the leading risk factor for someone to suffer from a preventable premature death.
The issue with alcohol consumption, especially at a young age, is that there are also increased risks of having abnormal brain development occur. There is a direct correlation between the age a person starts to drink as a child and their chances of developing alcoholism in the future. With binge drinking and heavy drinking being such a problem, a new look at how society looks at alcohol with young children may be necessary. By eliminating the mystique of alcohol and helping children understand what responsible, moderate consumption looks like, lessons could be taught which might help to stem the tides of alcoholism.
Alcoholism Is A Hidden Disease
- More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
- 40% of hospital beds in the United States, excluding maternity and emergency beds, are being used to treat alcoholism health issues.
- Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost every year in the human race.
- 1 in every 12 adults will suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence at some point in their life.
The more that we can shine a light on the issues of alcoholism, then the better off we will be when it comes to recognizing and treating it. Of course a person who is suffering from alcoholism must want to seek out change in order for it to be effective, but far too often we ignore the signs and symptoms and allow life to continue moving on. The time has come to stop doing that.
Alcoholism Has Many Costs
- 48.2% of the deaths that occurred because of liver cirrhosis were alcohol related.
- In 2009, 33% of the liver transplants that were necessary were because of damage to the organ that was directly attributable to alcoholism.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, which occur when a mother drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, may have a prevalence rate that is as high as 5% of all births.
- About 20% of all college students meet the diagnostic criteria of having alcoholism.
- 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
- An average of 1,825 college students in the 18-24 age demographic die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.
- The total number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 26,654
Alcoholism can occur in any racial, ethnic, or religious demographic. It doesn’t discriminate in any way, shape, or form. This is why it can be such a costly issue now and in the future. Some people might be able to conquer alcoholism on their own, but most people need to have a safe treatment facility that can help them handle withdrawal issues and then a sterile environment where the temptation to drink has been removed. With solid supports in place, a recognition of triggers, and other forms of comprehensive help, alcoholism doesn’t have to keep causing the same problems as it does today. With stats like these about the demographics of this disorder, it can become possible to take the first steps to sobriety.