Hasin and colleagues found that the rate of alcohol use in the USA was 65 percent in 2001-2002, and by 2012-2013 it had increased to 73 percent. The results are chilling, especially in light of other substance abuse crises plaguing the country.
Heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders are risk factors associated with health problems such as heart problems, hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, cancer, and infections. The study looked at both alcohol abuse, which is drinking to the point where it causes recurrent and significant problems in your life, or alcohol dependence, which is in part the inability to stop drinking.
The numbers are even more grim for certain groups.
The study, sponsored by a federal agency for alcohol research, examined how drinking patterns changed between 2002 and 2013, based on in-person surveys of tens of thousands of USA adults.
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A new study found the rates of alcohol abuse are increasing in the United States, particularly among specific demographic groups. It was senior citizens. Adults over 65 years in age also saw a pretty big jump - a 65% increase, in fact.
The researchers also found that deaths from alcohol-related cirrhosis increased substantially between 2009 and 2013 for the first time since the 1970s.
The study didn't just track alcohol abuse. But what's even more concerning is that "high-risk drinking" increased by nearly 30%, meaning more people were finding themselves having four or five - or more - drinks per day at least once a week. In the '90s, however, alcohol consumption increased - the percentage of people who drank at all increased by almost half, while high-risk and disordered drinking increased by about 20 percent and 12 percent, respectively. While there was no clear reason as to the increases, researchers claimed it constitutes a "public health crisis" on par with the current national opioid crisis. The share of adults who promulgate any alcohol use, high risk drinking, or alcohol dependence or abuse have risen sharply.
The Distilled Spirits Council has hit out at a report published this week claiming alcohol abuse is on the rise in the U.S., arguing that there is actually a decline in alcohol use disorders. That year, the survey found, about 15.7 million people had an alcohol use disorder in the past year, and 7.7 million people had an illicit drug use disorder.