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9 Staggering Facts About Alcohol Abuse

Older man drinking a beerAlcohol 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 phrases thrown around like “alcohol and other drugs” or “drinking and using drugs.” The implication is that alcohol is somehow more normal and less dangerous than other substances. But alcohol is actually more addictive and deadlier than putative harder drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) even noted that according to a survey, more than half of American adults over 18 years old reported drinking in the past month, and one-quarter admitted to binge drinking.

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. This is one of the most important facts about alcohol.

And 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.

Get Substance Abuse Support at Alpine Recovery Lodge

The clinical team at Alpine Recovery Lodge is fully aware of the facts concerning alcohol abuse and how best to treat the disease of alcoholism. We offer a range of treatment services for those wrestling with alcohol use issues. Many patients begin treatment with medical detox prior to inpatient therapy. Our aim is to remove the stigma from talking about alcoholism people can receive the help they need.

If you have any questions about alcohol abuse or treatment, feel free to contact us and ask.

9 Staggering Facts about Alcohol Abuse infographic