Alcohol Addiction on Rise
It’s likely that you’ve heard of America’s current opioid crisis spanning the country the last few years, but there is another drug that is seeing an increase in misuse: alcohol. A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry states that several signs of alcohol misuse are on the rise. Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013, 12-month alcohol use saw an increase from 65.4 percent to 72.7 percent.
High-risk drinking increased from 9.7 percent to 12.6 percent. Additionally, alcoholism increased from 8.5 percent to 12.7 percent, resulting in a 49.4 percent increase. This increase in alcoholism suggests that nearly 30 million Americans now suffer from alcohol addiction. The increase in alcoholism was greater among women, racial minorities, older adults, people with a high school education or less, people earning $20,000 or less a year, people living within 200 percent of the poverty threshold, and people residing in urban areas.
This study was comprised of data from two waves from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which involved face-to-face interviews with tens of thousands of adults. When the data was compared, an increase was found across the board.
One thing to note, is that data from a separate survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, indicated that the prevalence of alcohol use disorder slightly declined from 2002 to 2013. While these studies do use differing methodologies, it is unclear why there is such stark differences in the findings.
The JAMA Psychiatry survey is not the only one showing an increase in alcohol-related problems across America. In fact, alcohol-induced deaths between 2001 and 2015 rose from about 20,000 to more than 33,000.
Why are we seeing this increase in alcohol addiction?
An increase in availability of alcohol over the last few decades likely plays a major role. The availability of addiction treatment still remains out of reach for many Americans. It is also likely that socioeconomic and mental health issues play a role in the increase as people turn to alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate their problems.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, our team of addiction treatment specialists are here to help you begin the path to recovery at our intensive outpatient center in West Palm Beach. Contact A New Start, Inc. today at 844.TALK.ANS.