Alcohol abuse is one of the nation’s most misunderstood problems.
Think about how alcohol is referred to as something other than drugs: you’ll often see the phrases thrown around like “alcohol and other drugs” or “drinking and using drugs.” The implication is that alcohol is somehow more normal, less dangerous than other substances. But alcohol is actually more addictive and deadlier than putative harder drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD.
Here are a few other facts about alcohol abuse that may surprise you:
1. Over 22 Million Americans Currently Have a Substance Abuse Problem
That’s 6% of the whole country. Even if you don’t have a problem, you probably know someone who does.
2. Only 5 – 6% of Addicts Ever Receive Treatment from a Rehab Center
Rehab centers teach addicts techniques they can use to stay away from their substance of choice and avoid destructive behavior. Sadly, relatively few addicts ever get the help they need.
3. Over 14 Million Americans are Addicted to Alcohol
This means that about two-thirds of all addicts in this country are alcohol addicts.
4. Over 100,000 People Die from Alcohol-Related Issues Every Year
This stat includes drunk driving – but even when you take accidents out of the equation and look at alcohol poisoning alone, it still kills thousands of people in the US every year.
5. In 2009, a Third of All Traffic Deaths in the US Involved a Drunk Driver
Don’t drink and drive, folks.
Any when we say don’t drink and drive, we mean any amount of drinking. You already know that if you’re drunk to the point of slurring your speech and staggering around, you shouldn’t be driving a car. That’s obvious.
But even if you’ve only had a drink or two and you feel fine, you still shouldn’t drive.
Sure, you’re going have to leave your car at the bar. Yes, it’s going to be a little annoying to have a friend or an Uber take you back to your car when you’re sober in the morning. Any amount of alcohol is going to affect your driving skills, though, and getting behind the wheel when you’re not 100% alert isn’t worth the convenience. Just think of the consequences if something goes wrong. You could end someone’s life. It’s not worth it.
6. Alcohol Kills 7 Times as Many Young People Than All Other Drugs Combined
At high school and college parties where binge drinking is not just accepted but encouraged, a lot of teens go overboard and get sick. Many die. It only takes a dozen or so shots to kill you.
7. 61% of American Adults Drink Alcohol Somewhat Regularly
Alcohol abuse isn’t taken as seriously as other forms of addiction, mostly because drinking is considered so normal in our society.
8. 21% of American Adults Have Had 5 or More Drinks in One Day at Some Point in the Past Year
One-fifth of Americans engage in binge drinking at least once a year. Think back to Christmas parties, Fourth of July barbecues, etc. – again, this behavior is seen as normal, making it all the more dangerous.
9. Every Year, Over 13,000 People Die From Liver Diseases Related to Alcoholism
Other potentially fatal diseases caused by alcohol abuse include esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.
If you have any questions about alcohol abuse, feel free to contact us and ask.