Drinking United States
Almost 90 percent of adults in the United States report that they drink alcohol at some point in their life. Over half have been reported that they have been drinking in this past month. Many people use alcohol to relax, socialize, celebrate, and sometimes to enjoy a meal. Alcohol is one of the biggest parts of our society. But people do not know or understand the consequences that come with drinking it.
The most commonly used addictive substance in the United States is alcohol. One in every 12 adults, 17.6 million people, suffer from alcohol dependence or abuse. Several million more drink heavily each year. Not every binge drinker becomes an alcoholic, but it is a big risk factor.
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Most of the time, warning signs of alcohol abuse are very noticeable. But sometimes, they can take longer to notice. It’s very important to act very quickly when the warning signs first appear. For people who can catch alcoholism early can improve the chances for a healthy recovery.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, several people drink in moderation. But almost 40 percent of adults in the United States drink in excess of the low-risk guidelines established by the NIAAA. Some people even misuse alcohol, which is bad for them.
Alcohol misuse has a variety of consequences. Around 88,000 people die per year from alcohol-related causes in the United States. Nationally, alcohol accounts for 3.3 million deaths, (5.9 percent of all deaths), every year. Misuse of alcohol can contribute to several things. Here are a few examples: unprotected sex, sexually transmitted diseases, family problems, poor performance at school and/or work, memory blackouts, violence, accidents, unintentional injuries, organ damage and disease, and overdoses.
Misuse of alcohol may lead to alcohol use disorder. AUD is a serious chronic condition that affects almost 16 million people in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol misuse, including AUD, costs the United States around $249 billion every year due to crime, property damage, health care expenses, lost workplace productivity, and many more.
Human behavior and biology change throughout life. These changes can affect risks for alcohol-related disease and injury and drinking patterns. The NIAAA adopted a “ lifespan approach” to alcohol research that considers how the progression and emergence of drinking behavior and related outcomes interact with development changes and environmental inputs across the lifespan.
Alcohol misuse contributes to injury-related health conditions and over 200 diseases, including alcoholic liver disease. Over half of all liver disease deaths in the United States each year are involved with alcohol. Alcohol misuse also co-occurs with HIV, (human immunodeficiency virus), contributes to HIV transmission, reduces HIV screening, makes it difficult to follow complex HIV medication requirements. It also contributes to or exacerbates over health conditions in HIV-infected people. Some people may be more vulnerable to alcohol problems than others.
In the past year, 68.9 percent of men over age 12 drank alcohol. 62.9 percent of women over age 12 drank alcohol. 24.9 percent reported binge drinking. 6.5 percent reported heavy drinking. 5.9 percent met the criteria for a substance use disorder.
A few facts on alcohol: alcoholism is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation. Binge drinking is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death. Up to 40 percent of all hospital beds in the United States are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol. Older adults are hospitalized as often for alcohol-related problems as for heart attacks.
Nearly one-third of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States are a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. DUIs continue to be one of the most frequent causes of arrests every year. DUIs cost the United States more than $44 billion each year in prosecution, higher insurance rates, higher taxes, medical claims, and property damage. There are more than 2,200 alcohol overdose deaths in the United States each year-an average of six deaths every day.
Here are signs of an alcohol overdose: confusion. Difficulty staying awake. Vomiting. Seizures. Trouble breathing. Slow heart rate. Clammy skin. No gag reflex. Low body temperature. Walking, taking cold showers, and drinking hot coffee will not reverse an alcohol overdose. Doing those things can make it worse. Call 911 if you or someone experience this. Don’t try to help them or yourself alone.