Alcohol use in the United States is the norm. In 2015, 86.4 percent of adults reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime, 70.1 percent in the past year, and 56.0 percent within the past month. While use is high, many do not realize how often alcohol is abused in dangerous ways. 27% of adults over age 18 reported binge drinking within the last month, defined as over 5 drinks for men and 4 for women within 2 hours. Such drinking can lead to severe health effects, such as organ damage and the development of alcoholism.
The Prevalence of Alcohol Abuse
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that “according to the 2015 NSDUH, 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older (6.2 percent of this age group) had Alcohol Use Disorder” (AUD). The prevalence of AUD in the United States is a public health crisis, especially given recent studies that indicate rising alcoholism in the country. This rise in alcohol abuse has sparked fears of “increases in chronic disease comorbidities in the United States, especially among women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.” Other studies have indicated that as many as 1 in 8 Americans struggle with alcohol abuse.
Health Problems and Fatalities Related to Alcohol Abuse
As the country’s third leading cause of death, alcohol use is responsible for an estimated 88,000 deaths per year. In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths, occurred due to alcohol consumption. A 2014 study found that almost a third of driving-related deaths involved alcohol-impaired driving. In addition to these fatalities, alcohol also drives numerous diseases and health issues. For instance, “in 2009, alcohol-related liver disease was the primary cause of almost 1 in 3 liver transplants in the United States.”
The Success Rate of AUD Treatment
Despite these alarming statistics, hope for successful alcoholism treatment remains. One study found that “about one third of clients remain asymptomatic during the year following a single treatment event. The remaining two thirds show, on average, large and significant decreases in drinking and related problems.”
Another broad overview of 8,000 cases found “roughly one client in four will abstain from alcohol throughout the first year”, noting that “even for those who continue to drink, alcohol consumption drops by more than 87% on average in the year after treatment (from an average of 77 standard drinks per week to 10).”
The CDC notes, however, that “Only 1 in 6 adults talk with their doctor, nurse, or other health professional about their drinking” despite a 25% reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed on an occasion after even brief counseling. Clearly, professional treatment is beyond worthwhile – it may even be life-saving.
Treatment for Alcoholism
Granite Recovery Centers provides inpatient alcohol rehab and detox for anyone struggling with an alcohol use disorder. From medically supervised detox to inpatient recovery care and sober living facilities, Granite Recovery Centers can meet you where you’re at in your struggle with AUD and help you or your loved one overcome this disorder and build a better life.