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Facts on Alcohol Abuse

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Alcohol abuse is defined as the continued use of alcohol despite the development of social, legal, or health problems.” Alcohol abuse can take on many forms and cause a multitude of negative effects on the life of the user, those they love, and others. Millions of people around the world suffer from the effects of alcohol abuse and yet, alcohol is a part of our culture and when used in acceptable ways, it can even be beneficial.

Characteristics of Alcohol Abuse

Characteristics of alcohol abuse may include drinking alcohol:

  • In abnormally high amounts
  • Frequently
  • In binges
  • While driving, swimming, or engaging in activities requiring ultimate use of cognition and motor functioning skills
  • While taking other drugs
  • While neglecting responsibilities or failing to fulfill obligations regarding school, work, family, or otherwise
  • Although it has caused legal problems including the commitment of crimes or being arrested for domestic violence, abuse, or other harmful behaviors
  • Although it causes financial, familial, and social distress
  • While underage
  • At socially unacceptable times, events, or places

Facts on Alcohol Abuse

alcoholism consequences

Alcohol abuse is tied to many deaths each year.

  • In 2012, approximately 17 million adults ages 18 and older were reported to have an alcohol use disorder.
  • Immense psychological difficulties and disorders occur from alcohol abuse. Memory, judgment, emotions, cognition, inhibitions and motor functioning are all affected when a person uses alcohol.
  • Repeat abuse can lead to tolerance, dependency, and ultimately alcoholism.
  • Alcohol is the 3r leading cause of death in the United States with nearly 88,000 people dying annually from alcohol abuse.
  • In 2012, there were 10,322 driving fatalities caused by alcohol impaired driving.
  • In 2012, 3.3 million deaths were attributed to alcohol consumption.
  • It is estimated that more than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems.
  • Alcohol contributes to over 200 injury-related health conditions and diseases.
  • Alcohol is an economic burden on society due to judicial and healthcare costs along with lost productivity. The estimated burden to the United States in 2006 was $223.5 billion.
  • Alcohol abuse is a major risk factor for premature death and disability.
  • Alcohol abuse can lead to harmful behaviors such as suicide attempts, spousal abuse, child abuse, neglect and endangerment of others.
  • Binge drinking accounts for almost three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol abuse.
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