Alcohol Statistics in the United States

According to the most recent data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) 86.4 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime.  The study also shows that 15.1 million adults suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).  Alcohol Use Disorder is usually diagnosed by a medical professional and may be mild, moderate or severe.  There is a comprehensive questionnaire produced by the NIH to help determine whether a person is suffering symptoms of AUD.  Answering “yes” to two or more of the questions may be a sign that you should seek treatment for alcohol dependence or addiction.

The NIH provides resources as well as general information about alcohol consumption and how to seek treatment.  Only around 6.7 percent of the adults who had AUD received treatment for the disorder.  Unfortunately, treatment for alcohol and drug addiction has developed a negative stigma that prevents many from getting the help they need to treat the underlying problem.  Thus, the majority of people never attempt recovery.

According to the NIH, alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  Each year around 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes.  One of the most common causes of death is drunk driving.  Nearly 31 percent of all driving fatalities involved alcohol impairment.

The statistics are increasingly dire as more and more young people experiment with alcohol.  According to a recent survey on drug use 33.1 percent of 15-year-olds report that they have had at least 1 drink in their lifetime.  The prevalence of drinking amongst youth is high, particularly in the ages between 18 and 22 where just under 60 percent of college aged students reported to having a drink within the past month and 37.9 percent of college aged students admitting to binge drinking during that same period.

There are various forms of treatment for alcohol addiction or dependence.  For some people it is highly recommended that they begin with an inpatient detox program that requires complete sobriety under the care of a dedicated medical professional and their staff.  Others are best served through outpatient services.  Many find that devices that hold them accountable to their sobriety such as SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitors are beneficial to their recovery.