Alcohol Abuse Facts
More than 16 million people in the United States have what is considered to be an alcohol use disorder. There are various levels of alcohol abuse, including binge drinking, heavy drinking and alcohol-dependent. A binge drinker is someone who has usually more than four drinks at a single event or occasion. More than 58 million people reported binge drinking in the past month. A heavy drinker doesn’t automatically mean someone is an alcoholic, thought it is alcohol abuse.
A standard drink is roughly the equivalent to twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or one and a half ounces of liquor. The measurements are related to the percentage of alcohol by volume, which are about 5%, 12% and 40%, respectively. About 56% of males 12 or older a current drinkers, compared to 47% of females. The age range for the most consumption is between the ages of 18 and 25, where the rates increase to 63% for males and 58% for females.
Some signs of alcohol dependence include having cravings for alcohol such as a strong need or urge to drink. Another symptom is that the person is not able to stop drinking once starting and do not have the ability to control themselves. There are also physical signs as withdrawal symptoms, which include anxiety, sweating, nausea and more. Someone who is alcohol dependent also develops quite a tolerance, requiring more drinks to feel the same effects.
Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease by most and is classified as such. However, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism commissioned a study that found many alcoholics are able to recover, suggesting that a diagnosis doesn’t always mean a lifetime of struggling with a disease.
Overall, more than fifty percent of the population aged 12 or older in this country currently consumes alcohol. That percentage increases significantly when only looking at adults over the legal drinking age. The majority of them are able to drink responsibly and steer clear of alcohol abuse. So what factors cause someone to abuse or become dependent on alcohol? Browse this site for more answers.