Alcoholism affects people from all walks of life. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year in the United States.1 And alcohol continues to be one of the nation’s most preventable causes of death, second only to tobacco and a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Alcoholism has a profound effect on the entire body, especially the brain, heart, pancreas, mouth, liver, and immune system. In spite of its negative impact, more Americans than ever consume alcohol on a regular basis.2 Understanding the dangers of alcohol abuse and its impact on society can help you and your loved ones make healthier choices.
General Alcohol Statistics
- In 2018, there were 10,511 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, totaling 29% of all traffic fatalities for the year. 3
- An estimated 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder in the United States, but less than 10% of them receive treatment.4
- More than 65 million Americans report binge drinking in the past month, which is more than 40% of the total of current alcohol users.5
- Teen alcohol use kills 4,700 people each year. That’s more than all illegal drugs combined.8
- Drunk driving costs the United States more than $199 billion every year.6
Alcohol and Women
- According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 5.3 million women ages 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder.7
- Approximately one in two women of child-bearing age drink, and 18% of women in this group binge drink (five drinks per binge, on average).8
- Excessive drinking can interrupt the menstrual cycle and lead to infertility.7
- Women who binge drink are more likely to have unprotected sex, increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.8
- Women who drink while pregnant increase the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause mental and physical birth defects.8
- Binge drinking dramatically increases the risk of sexual assault on women, especially those living in a college setting.8
- More than 45% of adult women report drinking alcohol in the last month, and 12% of these report binge drinking.8
Alcohol and Men
- Men are twice as likely to binge drink as women.9
- Approximately 8.4% of men met the criteria for alcohol dependence in the last year.9
- Men are nearly twice as likely as women to have been intoxicated behind the wheel or involved in fatal motor vehicle traffic accidents.9
- Excessive drinking in men increases aggression, raising the risk of physical assault on another person.9
- Men are more likely than women to die by suicide while under the influence of alcohol.9
- Excessive alcohol use is a common factor in sexual assault. It also increases a man’s risk of engaging in unprotected sex and sex with multiple partners, which increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.9
- Alcohol use increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon in men.9
- Nearly 60% of adult men report drinking in the last month.9
Finding Help for Alcohol Abuse
If you or a loved one exhibits any of the common warning signs of alcoholism, contact us to learn about your options at 678-251-3189. Depending on the severity, you or your loved one may only need an outpatient program. Please don’t stop alcohol abuse abruptly. To do so is to put your life at risk. You need someone to help you through the process. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions.
By Patti Richards
1CDC Fact Sheet: Alcohol Use and Your Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. December 30, 2019. Accessed April 8, 2020.
2Domonoske, Camila. Drinking on the Rise in US, Especially for Women, Minorities, Older Adults. NPR. August 10, 2017.
32018 Data: Alcohol-Impaired Driving National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. December 2019
4Alcohol Use Disorder National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Accessed April 8, 2020.
5Ahrnsbrak, Rebecca, et al. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. September 2017.
6“Statistics.” Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD. Accessed December 31, 2017.
7Alcohol Facts and Statistics. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. August 2018.
8Fact Sheets – Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 7, 2016.
9Fact Sheets – Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men’s Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 7, 2016.