Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction is an addiction to a drug. It is time that we got that through to our heads and stopped thinking like alcohol is different or not as bad as hard drugs when it is being abused. Alcohol actually is very dangerous and deadly and it can cause untold unhappiness and problems and troubles of many different kinds.
The real problem is that, because alcohol is legal and it is almost forced upon us there is this idea that it is harmless and not something to be at all concerned about. The truth is this could not be further from the truth. Sure, there is nothing wrong with occasional, light, casual drinking. Alcohol abuse and addiction is the real concern here though, and it is far more prevalent in the United States than anyone ever thought before.
The Actual Statistics
Alcohol abuse is out of control in the nation today. It has been since the turn of the century, but that hasn’t been reported or really exposed as so many companies and so many people stand to make a lot of money off of alcohol.
The truth and the statistics on alcohol overdose deaths and alcohol addiction problems in general do not lie. For example:
- Alcohol use and abuse in the United States has gotten out of hand to say the least. The prevalence of drinking alone is concerning by itself. In 2014 for example, about ninety percent of people of the age of 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Roughly seventy of Americans 18 or older percent reported that they drank in the past year alone too, and sixty percent reported that they drank in the past month or even more recent than that.
- The prevalence and consistency of binge drinking and heavy drinking in the nation is also concerning at the very least, if not frankly very worrisome. For example, in 2014 about twenty-five percent of people of the age of 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month alone. To exacerbate the issue even further than that, ten percent reported that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month, alone making for excessive alcohol consumption something that at least one out of every ten Americans does on a regular basis if not more often than that.
- About 1.5 million adults received treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) at a specialized facility in the year of 2014, but this was only about 8.9 percent of the adults who needed treatment for their addictions. This included no less than 1.1 million men (9.8 percent of men in need), and 431,000 women (7.4 percent of women who needed treatment). Essentially, it is very rare that someone who abuses alcohol actually gets the help that he or she needs for the addiction, and less than five percent of those adducted actually do make it into rehab.
- Here’s the worst statistic of them all. Nearly 88,000 people all together (breaking down to approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women), die from alcohol-related causes every single year, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States easily. In fact, only smoking and obesity kill more people than alcohol does. Furthermore, in 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for about 9,967 deaths all together (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).
This is a big problem and it needs to be handled. The best way to do so is with rehabilitation. To be more specific, the best way to address addiction is with inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, detox facilities, rehab programs, and recovery organizations. These more than anything else is what is really needed and wanted when it comes to addressing and resolving alcohol addiction.