Top 10 Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Top 10 Alcohol Abuse Statistics

More than 10% of US children live with a parent with alcohol problems

Alcoholism is often referred to as a family disease. This is because the addiction harms not only the alcoholic, but everyone who has to live with them. Children always suffer when they share a house with a parent struggling with alcohol problems. They can experience a prominent sense of shame and feel as if they need to lie in order to keep a family secret.

Children who grow up in homes where there is active alcoholism can receive many mixed messages about how they should interact with people within their family as well as in the outside world. The emotional and psychological scars that children can develop from living in alcoholic homes can last through adulthood. There can also be a great deal of anger held towards an alcoholic parent, as the adult’s actions are destructive to the family, but they do not appear to care.

The emotional damage caused from children living with a parent dealing with alcohol problems can be severe. Children may have a hard time performing well in school, making friends, communicating with their superiors, or feeling happy, and have a higher chance of becoming an alcoholic later in life.

33% of 15-year-olds report that they have had at least one drink in their lives

Although drinking is illegal for people under the age of 21, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States. Alcohol is for sale in almost every grocery store and restaurant, and children see countless ads promoting these beverages as they are growing up. Despite the minimum drinking age, millions of young people abuse these easily-accessible drinks every day.

Teenagers do not have a difficult time accessing alcohol, whether they get it from friends or older siblings, at parties, or directly from their parents’ liquor cabinets. On average, teens drink more alcohol at a single sitting than adults do. The excitement of drinking, mixed with peer pressure and an overabundance of alcoholic beverages, can cause kids to drink excessively and get dangerously inebriated.

Teenagers who drink alcohol are more likely to experience problems in school, have unprotected sex, be involved in alcohol-related driving accidents, and try other drugs.

Alcohol kills more teenagers than all other drugs combined

Each year, excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth and costs the United States 24 billion dollars.

There is no question that years of heavy drinking can cause serious health problems or even lead to death. However, teens who drink may experience alcohol-related fatalities sooner than later. Because alcohol can hinder coordination, judgment, and reflexes, it can cause people to lose control, take risks, or partake in activities they may not do otherwise. As a result, teenagers who drink can be injured or killed, even the first time they try alcohol.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 20. Deadly crashes involving alcohol are twice as common in teens compared with people 21 and older. This is because teens are not as experienced with driving, and their judgment skills are harmed more by alcohol, even if they drink less than adults.

Mixing drinking with swimming or boating can also be fatal. Four out of 10 teens who drown have been drinking alcohol. Underage drinking has also been linked with deaths and injuries from burns, falls, alcohol poisoning, and suicide.

58% of full-time college students ages 18-22 drank alcohol in the past month

Although alcohol use typically begins before students arrive at college, pressure to misuse alcohol may be intensified when a student starts college, as they are interacting with new peers, exposed to new norms in regards to alcohol, and are often living apart from their parents for the first time.

The transition to college requires major changes in every aspect of a student’s life. Students are looking for new friends who will provide support and intimacy, and they are working to develop their identity as college students.

Young adults spend a good amount of time thinking about how others perceive them. It may be that students acquire ideas that drinking significant amounts of alcohol in college will make them more fun and exciting to their peers. In college, there is often pressure from peers to drink, and the more a student perceives others as drinking heavily, the more likely a student is to drink heavily.

There are between 1 to 3 cases of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in every 1,000 births

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Surveys from the United States have found about 10 percent of pregnant women drank alcohol in the past month, and 20 to 30 percent drank at some point during the pregnancy. About 5 percent of women who are pregnant in the United States have alcoholism. The risk of complications depends on the amount consumed and the frequency of consumption, as well as at what point during pregnancy the alcohol is consumed.

There is no known safe amount or safe time to drink during pregnancy. While drinking small amounts of alcohol does not cause physical abnormalities, it may cause behavioral issues. Alcohol crosses the blood brain barrier and affects a developing baby.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is preventable by avoiding alcohol while pregnant. For this reason, doctors recommend no alcohol during pregnancy or while trying to become pregnant.

45% of liver disease deaths among individuals aged 12 and older involve alcohol

There are three main types of alcohol-related liver disease: alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis. Many heavy drinkers will progress from fatty liver disease to alcoholic hepatitis to alcoholic cirrhosis over time. However, some heavy drinkers may develop cirrhosis without first having alcoholic hepatitis. Others may have alcoholic hepatitis but never experience symptoms.

Complications from alcohol-related liver disease usually occur after years of heavy drinking. These complications can be deadly.

Alcoholic hepatitis can be mild or severe. Mild alcoholic hepatitis may be reversed by abstaining from alcohol. Severe alcoholic hepatitis can occur suddenly and lead to serious complications including liver failure and death.

An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth-leading preventable cause of death in the United States

Alcohol-related deaths shorten the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Additionally, excessive drinking is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.

The heaviest drinkers are at the greatest risk for alcohol-induced fatalities. Research indicates that the top 10 percent of American adults consume the largest share of alcohol in the United States: close to 74 drinks per week, on average.

When it comes to alcohol, the line between “moderate use” and “dangerous use” can be thin. Compared to deaths associated with use of other recreational drugs, alcohol is the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine. This is because the ratio between a toxic dose and a typical dose is extremely narrow with alcohol. If a person is happily buzzed on three glasses of wine, three more might make them sick, and three after that may put them in alcohol poisoning territory.

There are 1.4 million drunk driving arrests in the US every year

Even though it is a serious crime with severe penalties, drunk driving continues to be a problem throughout the United States. Measures to deter people from driving drunk continue to be utilized in the hopes that one day, this won’t be an issue anymore.

In every state, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. However, for every 88 instances of driving, someone is arrested for operating a vehicle above the legal limit. Within two hours of drinking, over 700 drivers will be arrested for drunk driving.

Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities account for about 30% of all driving fatalities per year

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has reported that 40 percent of homicides involved the defendant drinking alcohol. For the victims, 25 percent had also been drinking alcohol at the time of the event.

Drivers who have been drinking alcohol are almost 1.5 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. Today alcohol is involved in 37 percent of all traffic deaths among people between the ages of 16 and 20.

Alcohol abuse, dependence, and related problems such as alcohol-impaired driving must be addressed throughout a person’s life, not just at middle age. Those that drank before the age of 15 are seven times more likely to report having been in a traffic accident because of drinking both during adolescence and adulthood.

40% of violent crimes occur under the influence of alcohol

Because alcohol use is legal and prominent, it plays an especially strong role in relation to crime and other social problems. According to the Department of Justice, 37 percent of almost 2 million convicted offenders currently in jail report that they were drinking at the time of their arrest.

Alcohol, more than any illegal drug, is found to be closely associated with violent crimes, including murder, rape, assault, as well as child and spousal abuse. About 3 million violent crimes occur each year in which the victims perceive the offender to have been drinking. Statistics generally show that about half of all homicides and assaults are committed when the offender, victim, or both have been drinking. Among violent crimes, with the exception of robberies, the offender is far more likely to have been drinking than under the influence of other drugs.

Alcohol is often a factor in violence where the attacker and the victim know each other.  Two-thirds of victims who are attacked by someone they knew (including a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend) report that alcohol had been involved, whereas only 30 percent of victimizations by strangers are alcohol-related.

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