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Alcohol Abuse Facts

Alcoholism is a disease — a chronic, progressive, fatal disease if not treated. That is putting it bluntly, yet in this country every year; more money is spent promoting the use of alcohol than any other product. It sounds insane, but as we often say, “it is what it is” till we do something about it.

Here are some facts that validate the insanity of alcohol abuse and addiction:
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  • More than 100,000 U.S. deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year. Direct and indirect causes of death include drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, falls, cancer, and stroke.
  • At least once a year, the guidelines for low risk drinking are exceeded by an estimated 74% of male drinkers and 72% of female drinkers aged 21 and older.
  • 65% of youth surveyed said that they got the alcohol they drink from family and friends.
  • Nearly 14 million Americans meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders.
  • Youth who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than those who never drink alcohol.
  • Among current adult drinkers, more than half say they have a blood relative who is or was an alcoholic or problem drinker.
  • Across people of all ages, males are four times as likely as females to be heavy drinkers.
  • More than 18% of Americans experience alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence at some time in their lives.
  • Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for persons aged 6–33. About 45% of these fatalities are in alcohol-related crashes.
  • Underage drinking costs the United States more than $58 billion every year — enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer.
  • Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among young people.
  • Problem drinkers average four times as many days in the hospital as nondrinkers — mostly because of drinking-related injuries.
  • Alcohol kills 6½ times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.
  • Concerning the past 30 days, 50% of high school seniors report drinking, with 32% report being drunk at least once.

     1  Substance Abuse: The Nation’s Number One Health Problem, Feb. 2001
     2  Mothers Against Drunk Driving
     3  National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
     4  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
     5  Alcohol Health & Research World
     6  National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Analysis
     7  The Century Council

-- Source: http://www.gdcada.org/statistics/alcohol.htm --

Here are some more facts that may surprise you:
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  • Alcohol is the number one drug problem in America.
  • There are more than 12 million alcoholics in the U.S.
  • Three-fourths of all adults drink alcohol, and 6% of them are alcoholics.
  • Americans spend $197 million each day on alcohol.
  • In the United States, a person is killed in an alcohol-related car accident every 30 minutes.
  • A 2000 study found nearly 7 million persons age 12 to 20 were binge drinkers.
  • Three-fourths of all high school seniors report being drunk at least once.
  • Adolescents who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics than their counterparts who do not begin drinking until the age of 21.
  • People with a higher education are more likely to drink.
  • Higher income people are more likely to drink.

We hope some of these statistics surprised you. You may have found yourself in them or you may have seen a friend or loved one listed above.  But even if not, we cannot ignore the fact that whether or not we use alcohol ourselves, many others are affected by those who do use.

Consider that alcohol is a factor in the following:

  • 73% of all felonies
  • 73% of child beating cases
  • 41% of rape cases
  • 81% of wife battering cases
  • 72% of stabbings
  • 83% of homicides

-- Source: http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/statistics-on-alcoholics.html--

So, adding it all up, 12-14 million alcoholics affect an estimated 40-50 million people.  Statistics on alcoholics tell us that alcoholism costs the people in the US about $60 billion each year, paying for things like traffic accidents, health care costs, and social programs that respond to alcohol problems. Needless to say, the dollar amount is nothing compared to the amount of grief and human suffering caused by alcohol abuse.

What do these statistics on alcohol abuse mean and what can you do about it? Quite simply, alcohol abuse is a serious national problem but the work begins at home.  Alcohol treatment must be sought by alcoholics, or loved ones must urge them to get help for alcohol dependence before problems develop.  If you or a loved one is having problems with alcohol, get help.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides alcohol treatment including medical detoxification as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  If you or a loved one needs alcohol detox with residential or outpatient treatment, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

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