Effects of Alcohol Abuse in the U.S.
Alcohol addiction is serious problem that affects millions of Americans, including teens and young adults under the age of 21. Alcohol abuse is highest in non-Hispanic whites. 27 percent of non-Hispanic whites report abusing alcohol, in contrast to 15 percent of African-Americans and 19 percent of Hispanics.
Abuse in Adolescents
One out of every two high school seniors (50 percent) admit to drinking alcohol in the last 30 days. Young people under the age of 21 drink 19.7 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States. The average person consumes 152 ounce of alcohol per year, which is the equivalent of 13 beers.
According to one U.S. study, 27 percent of 12th graders, 22 percent of 10th graders, and 11 percent of 8th graders report binge drinking at least five drinks in a row in the last two weeks. More than five million high school students (31.5 percent) admit to binge drinking at least once per month. As a consequence of this binge drinking, 320,000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes. Alcohol-related deaths account for 9 percent of all deaths in that age group.
Rates of alcohol abuse increase with education and income. Nearly twice as many college graduates (68.4 percent) describe themselves as current drinkers, in comparison to only 35 percent of adults who did not complete high school. Less than half (45.2 percent) of individuals living in households below the poverty line report consuming alcohol in the last 30 days. In contrast, 72.6 percent of adults whose incomes are at least four times the poverty level report consuming alcohol in the last 30 days.
Alcohol Abuse in College
Nearly half of all college students (44 percent) are binge drinkers. 700,000 college students between 18 and 24 are assaulted each year by another student who has been drinking. One out of four college students (25 percent) cannot remember where they were or what they were doing while drinking. 6 percent of college students are alcohol dependent.
Alcohol Related Deaths
In 2010, alcohol was responsible for 85,000 deaths in the United States, with 22,000 of these deaths caused by alcohol-related diseases. Drunk drivers are responsible for 32 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2009. Many drunk drivers mistakenly believe that they can drive under the influence and not be arrested because they have done so successfully in the past. In fact, the average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before their first arrest. One in three people will be involved in an alcohol crash at some point in their lives. Each year, 10,839 people die from drunk driving accidents.
Other Risks Associated with Alcohol
Alcohol abuse can lead to additional health problems and risky decision-making. Individuals who are dependent on alcohol are 18 times more likely to abuse prescription drugs when compared with individuals who do not drink. One out of every four inmates (25 percent) are in jail because of alcohol or drug offenses.
There is Help Available…
If a loved one struggles with alcohol abuse, there is hope. There are 113,000 Alcoholics Anonymous groups worldwide. Additionally there are many caring facilities such as Delray Recovery Center that can help you and your family get the answers to all of your alcohol abuse questions, and can assist you or your family in getting the proper treatment for alcohol abuse.