Alcohol consumption seems very natural in our society, and it is a widely accepted social behavior, and many often seem to forget about the consequences that alcohol can cause. Alcohol is legal as opposed to other drugs, so it is not taken as a serious problem in our society. Still, alcohol is at the top of the list when it comes to counting alcohol addicts who lost control of their lives due to excessive drinking.
IN 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) conducted a survey to raise awareness of alcohol use and abuse in the USA and how many people are actually in the risky stage of alcohol use.
When it comes to statistical data alcohol consumption ranks very high, and its prevalence is far beyond 50%. In 2015, in the survey, more than 86% of people from 18 onwards admitted to having consumed alcohol at least once in their lifetime. The percentage is somewhat smaller when it comes to alcohol consumption during the year before the survey where 70% admitted to have been regularly drinking alcohol for the whole year.
Excessive alcohol drinking is also often the case. In 2015, a study showed that 26% of people over 18 admitted to binge drinking only for the month preceding the survey. Binge drinking refers to alcohol consumption that accounts for 0.08 g/dL of alcohol in blood and on average it means 4 drinks for the ladies and 5 for the gentlemen.
Heavy drinking is defined as binge drinking that repeats itself for 5 to 6 days within one month. 7% of people over 18 admitted having engaged in heavy drinking for the month preceding the survey according to this definition.
The 2015 survey determined that 15.1 million people from 18 onwards are suffering from the Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), whereof 8.4% are men and 4.2% are women.
When it comes to minors from 12 to 17 years of age, 2.5% are struggling with AUD, which comes to the number of 623,000 teenagers. When it comes to treatment, 1.3 million adults signed up for a program that treats alcohol abuse, and only 37.000 teenagers.
The effects of alcohol seem not that harmless when we see the numbers especially when it comes to alcohol-related deaths on an annual basis which comes around to 88.000 people who die from the causes that are traced back to alcohol use. Alcohol abuse is the 4th cause of deaths in the USA, regarding preventable causes.
Alcohol is also known as a top cause of car accidents and drunk driving is a serious issue and in 2014 drunk-driving accounted for almost 10.000 deaths.
European people also enjoy a good drink, some nations more than the others. According to EU statistics, Britain, THE Czech Republic, and Hungaria are the leading countries in alcohol consumption with an average from ten to fifteen liters per capita annually. Luxembourg and Sweden were rated as moderate, and the countries also have different drinking habits, e.g. some nations tend to drink every day in moderate amounts, while others consume alcohol two or three times a week but drink more. The wine production countries like Spain and Italy are known for everyday alcohol use, whereas Scandinavian countries drink on weekends mostly. Alcohol is also responsible for many diseases of Europeans, just like in the USA.
Alcohol abuse can fell heavy on the shoulders of governments, whereby for example the USA had to spend over 240 billion dollars in 2010 for that cause. Alcohol accounts for almost 10% of deaths on an annual basis worldwide. A total of 200 diseases is associated with alcohol use and abuse which causes diseases and eventually deaths. Alcohol is a serious contributor to premature death and disability.
Alcohol should be taken more serious as a threat and a risk factor that is responsible for many accidents, diseases, and reckless behaviour, if the governments want the society to change for the better.