Alcoholism is a progressive disease characterized by four primary attributes which include preoccupation (increased desire to drink), physical dependence, lack of self-restraint, and development of tolerance. Over the years, research has improved our general understanding of the devastating potential this dangerous disease has in store for alcohol abusers. By analyzing current alcoholism statistics, we can clearly see the devastating effects alcohol has on the lives of users, and the relationship between alcohol and various behaviors and bodily functions. Oftentimes, the public needs to see these statistics to reinforce the fact that the effects of alcoholism are widespread and extremely hazardous to one’s health. The following statistics have been compiled from numerous web surveys and other methods of research:
Alcoholism Information and Statistics
- Alcohol dependence and abuse cost the US approximately $220 billion in 2005. For the sake of comparison, this was greater than the amount of money spent to combat cancer ($196 billion) and obesity ($133 billion).
- 25.9% of underage alcohol abusers (i.e. underage alcoholics) drink 47.3% of the total amount of alcohol consumed by drinkers under the legal age.
- Drinking excessively year after year may cause pancreatitis, or an inflamed pancreas. Side effects of pancreatitis include extreme abdominal pain and abnormal weight loss. These can lead to death.
- Alcoholism improves a drinker’s odds of developing cancer of the throat, larynx, liver, colon, kidneys, rectum, and esophagus. It may also contribute to immune system irregularities, brain damage, harming an unborn baby, and cirrhosis of the liver.
- An estimated 43% of US adults have had someone related to them who is presently, or was, an alcoholic.
- 3 million US citizens older than 60 abuse alcohol or require it to function normally.
- Close to three times the amount of US males (9.8 million) abuse, or are dependent upon, alcohol than females (3.9 million).
- A survey of over 450 American alcohol abusers revealed that the vast majority of them did not grow up with a father figure in their households.
- 6.6 million minors in the US live with an alcoholic mother or father.
- About 14 million US residents battle an alcohol addiction.
- Greater than 50% of grownups in the US have had knowledge of someone in their immediate family with an alcohol problem.
- Just under 13.8 million US adults have issues with alcohol, and 8.1 million of them officially suffer from alcoholism.
- People who have a good relationship with their spouses have an 8.9% probability of developing alcoholism over the course of their lifetime. Contrarily, 29.2% of adults who are living with a partner and have never married are likely to become alcoholics.
- Around a quarter of all children experience some form of alcoholism in their families before they turn 18.
- As the “baby boom” generation settles into retirement, alcoholism is becoming more prevalent among the elderly.
- Generally, employees who have divorced, separated, or never married are twice as likely to have alcohol problems as those who are married.
- It takes about 15 years for an adult to become a full-fledged alcoholic, but the process is sped up in teens and young adults.
- One out of every five alcoholics who attempt to stop drinking without medical intervention end up dying as a result of alcohol withdrawal delirium.
- In contrast with those who drink in moderation, people who abuse alcohol are estimated to spend anywhere from 1.5% to 18.7% of their total income on alcohol and alcohol-related products. This vast fluctuation is largely based on a person’s age and sex.
- People who live with an alcoholic take ten times the amount of sick leave than individuals who are not exposed to alcoholism. Four-fifths of them also claim their productivity on the job is reduced as a result of their living situation.
- 40% of alcoholism is passed down through the gene pool, while the other 60% stems from unknown circumstances.
- Studies show that the offspring of alcoholics have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics themselves than those whose parents are clean.
- A staggering half-a-million US children aged nine to 12 are addicted to alcohol.
According to this assortment of statistics, it is evident that alcoholism is detrimental to anyone who succumbs to it; the disease has a negative impact on people from all walks of life, regardless of:
• Job status
• Political views
• Religious beliefs
Therefore, it is essential that all kids, teenagers, and adults become educated on the consequences of alcoholism in order to avoid the countless adverse effects associated with it (e.g., DUI conviction). After scanning these astounding stats, one can comprehend why alcoholism is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer”, and why alcoholism treatment is often needed.