DID YOU KNOW?

Alcohol Use in the United States:

  • Prevalence of Drinking: In 2013, 86.8 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.7 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.4 percent reported that they drank in the past month.

  • Prevalence of Binge Drinking and Heavy Drinking: In 2013, 24.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.8 percent reported that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month.

Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) in the United States:

  • Adults (ages 18+): 16.6 million adults ages 18 and older (7.0 percent of this age group) had an AUD in 2013. This includes 10.8 million men (9.4 percent of men in this age group) and 5.8 million women (4.7 percent of women in this age group).

    •  About 1.3 million adults received treatment for an AUD at a specialized facility in 2013 (7.8 percent of adults who needed treatment). This included 904,000 million men (8.0 percent of men in need) and 444,000 women (7.3 percent of women who needed treatment).

  • Youth (ages 12–17): In 2013 an estimated 697,000 adolescents ages 12–17 (2.8 percent of this age group) had an AUD. This number includes 385,000 females (3.2 percent of females in this age group) and 311,000 males (2.5 percent of males in this age group).

    • An estimated 73,000 adolescents (44,000 males and 29,000 females) received treatment for an alcohol problem in a specialized facility in 2013.

Alcohol-Related Deaths:

  • Nearly 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

  • In 2013, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 10,076 deaths (30.8 percent of overall driving fatalities).

Economic Burden:

  • In 2006, alcohol misuse problems cost the United States $223.5 billion.

  • Almost three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol misuse is related to binge drinking.

Global Burden:

  • In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths (7.6 percent for men and 4.0 percent for women), were attributable to alcohol consumption.

  • Alcohol contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries. In 2012, 5.1 percent of the burden of disease and injury worldwide (139 million disability-adjusted life years) was attributable to alcohol consumption.

  • Globally, alcohol misuse is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability; among people between the ages of 15 and 49, it is the first.

Family Consequences:

  • More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study.

Underage Drinking:

  • Prevalence of Underage Alcohol Use:

    • Prevalence of Drinking: According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 35.1 percent of 15-year-olds report that they have had at least 1 drink in their lives. About 8.7 million people ages 12–20 (22.7 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month (23 percent of males and 22.5 percent of females).

    • Prevalence of Binge Drinking: According to the 2013 NSDUH, approximately 5.4 million people (about 14.2 percent) ages 12–20 were binge drinkers (15.8 percent of males and 12.4 percent of females).

    • Prevalence of Heavy Drinking: According to the 2013 NSDUH, approximately 1.4 million people (about 3.7 percent) ages 12–20 were heavy drinkers (4.6 percent of males and 2.7 percent of females).

  • Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use:

    • Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years could interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing an AUD. In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, including injuries, sexual assaults, and even deaths—including those from car crashes.

Alcohol and College Students:

  • Prevalence of Alcohol Use:

    • Prevalence of Drinking: In 2013, 59.4 percent of full-time college students ages 18–22 drank alcohol in the past month compared with 50.6 percent of other persons of the same age.

    • Prevalence of Binge Drinking: In 2013, 39 percent of college students ages 18–22 engaged in binge drinking (5 or more drinks on an occasion) in the past month compared with 33.4 percent of other persons of the same age.

    • Prevalence of Heavy Drinking: In 2013, 12.7 percent of college students ages 18–22 engaged in heavy drinking (5 or more drinks on an occasion on 5 or more occasions per month) in the past month compared with 9.3 percent of other persons of the same age.

  • Consequences—Researchers estimate that each year:

    • 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.

    • 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

    • 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

    • Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an AUD.

    • About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.                  

Alcohol and Pregnancy:

  • The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the United States was estimated by the Institute of Medicine in 1996 to be between 0.5 and 3.0 cases per 1,000.

  • More recent reports from specific U.S. sites report the prevalence of FAS to be 2 to 7 cases per 1,000,27 and the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) to be as high as 20 to 50 cases per 1,000.

Alcohol and the Human Body: 

  • In 2013, of the 71,713 total liver disease deaths among individuals aged 12 and older, 46.4 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 48.9 percent of the 46,240 liver disease deaths involved alcohol. Among females, 42.7 percent of the 25,433 liver disease deaths involved alcohol. 

  • Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2011, 48.0 percent were alcohol related. The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (72.7 percent) among decedents ages 25–34, followed by decedents aged 35–44, at 70.3 percent.

  • In 2009, alcohol-related liver disease was the primary cause of almost 1 in 3 liver transplants in the United States.

  • Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast.

Health Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Consumption:

  • Moderate alcohol consumption, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.

  • Moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on health. These include decreased risk for heart disease and mortality due to heart disease, decreased risk of ischemic stroke (in which the arteries to the brain become narrowed or blocked, resulting in reduced blood flow), and decreased risk of diabetes.

  • In most Western countries where chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD), cancer, stroke, and diabetes are the primary causes of death, results from large epidemiological studies consistently show that alcohol reduces mortality, especially among middle-aged and older men and women—an association which is likely due to the protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on CHD, diabetes, and ischemic stroke.

  • It is estimated that 26,000 deaths were averted in 2005 because of reductions in ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes from the benefits attributed to moderate alcohol consumption.

  • Expanding our understanding of the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and potential health benefits remains a challenge, and although there are positive effects, alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks moderately.

Source: University of Pennsylvania Health System

These statistics compiled by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) are not intended to scare you, but to make you aware that friends and loved ones of alcoholics and addicts are not alone.