What Is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is a huge problem in America and around the world. The cost of it is staggering. In America and around the world alcohol abuse is a major social health problem. The negative effects of it include social, economic, family, health, and career, psychological and public safety. Forty-four percent of the adult U.S. population (aged 18 and over) are currently alcohol drinkers who have consumed at least 12 drinks in the preceding year. Although most people who drink do so safely, those who consume alcohol heavily produce an impact that ripples outward to encompass their families, friends, and communities.

Alcohol Misuse Disorder

According to the latest version of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, alcoholism is now referred to as “Alcohol Use Disorder”. This may have been done to try and alleviate some of the confusion around the various levels of drinking alcohol. Formerly, there were several different types of abusing alcohol, such as “heavy drinking”, “problem drinking”, “alcohol abuser”, functioning alcoholic” and others.

Causes

Alcoholism often seems to run in families, and we may hear about scientific studies of an “alcoholism gene.” Genetics certainly influence the likelihood of developing alcoholism.

There has been a lot of research confirming the connection between alcohol use disorders in the family. If you have a parent with alcohol use disorder, you are more at risk for alcohol problems.
The other most likely cause is related to environment.

Here are some other possible causes:

young adults under peer pressure

Have any psychological condition such as depression

easy access to liquor, such as work

regular pattern of relationship problems

highly stressful lifestyle

Signs & Symptoms

There are certain things to indicate whether someone has or soon will have alcohol misuse disorder.

List of Alcohol Use Disorder Symptoms

Continue to drink, despite the consequences

Quitting activities you formerly enjoyed

Risk taking behavior during drinking

Have built up a tolerance for more and more alcohol

Suffering withdrawal symptoms after stopping

Drinking more than planned

Have tried unsuccessfully to cut down or stop drinking

Amount of time spent drinking and recovering from it

Craving and or strong urges to drink

Missing work or school and or poor perform because of drinking

 

Other Alcohol Related Topics

Sobering Facts

Forty-four percent of the adult U.S. population (aged 18 and over) is current alcohol drinkers who have consumed at least 12 drinks in the preceding year. Although most people who drink safely, the minority who consume alcohol heavily produce an impact that ripples outward to encompass their families, friends, and communities. The most recent estimate of the overall economic cost of alcohol abuse was $224 billion.

  • Approximately 14 million Americans-7.4 percent of the population -meet the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism.
  • More than one-half of American adults have a close family member who has or has had alcoholism.
  • Approximately one in four children younger than 18 years old in the United States is exposed to alcohol dependence in the family.
  • Among people ages 21-22, 85 percent of men and 76 percent of women have used alcohol within the last 30 days
  • 55 percent of men ages 21-22 and 33 percent of women ages 19-20 drank five or more drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks
  • People ages 18-29 have the highest rates of past-year alcohol dependence

 

Underage Use

By age 15, more than 50 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.

 

By age 18, more than 70 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.

10.4 million young people ages 12–20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.

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About the author

Robert M. has been in recovery since 1988. He is a sponsor and loyal member of AA. He has been working in the drug and alcohol field for nearly 20 years. During that time, he has written industry blogs and articles for a variety of industry websites including Transitions, Malibu Horizons, Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches and Lifeskills of Boca Raton.

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