Percentage of Drinkers:
– 87.6% of people aged 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime;
– 71% reported that they drank in the past year; 56.3% reported that they drank in the past month.
Percentage of Binge Drinkers and Heavy Drinkers:
– 24.6 % of people aged 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month (drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days);
– 7.1% reported that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month (drinking 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days).
Alcohol Use Disorders:
An estimated 17 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder (AUD)—a medical term that includes both alcoholism and harmful drinking that does not reach the level of dependence.
Research shows that an estimated 15% of individuals with an AUD ever seek treatment.
Each year in the U.S., nearly 80,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in our country.8
Economic Burden of Alcohol Problems:
In 2006, alcohol problems cost the U.S. $224 billion each year, primarily from lost productivity but also from health care and property damage costs. These issues affect all Americans, whether they drink or not.
Global burden of Alcohol Problems:
Globally, alcohol use is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability; among people between the ages of 15 to 49, it is the first.10
Family consequences of Alcohol Problems:
More than 10% of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study.
Alcohol and College Students:
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 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
Alcohol and Adolescents:
– By age 15, more than 50 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.
More adolescents drink alcohol than smoke cigarettes or use marijuana.
– In 2009, 10.4 million young people ages 12 to 20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.
Alcohol and Pregnancy:
– Among more than half a million pregnant women surveyed between 1991 and 2005, about 12% reported drinking and about 2% reported binge drinking.
– The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the U.S. is between 2 to 7 cases per 1,000;
– The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in populations of younger school children may be as high as 2-5% in the U.S. and some Western European countries.
Alcohol and the Human Body:
– In 2009, liver cirrhosis was the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, with a total of 31,522 deaths—664 more than in 2008.
– Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2009, 48.2 percent were alcohol related. The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (70.6 percent) among decedents aged 35 to 44.
– In 2009, alcohol related liver disease was the primary cause of almost 1 in 3 liver transplants in the U.S.