Nowadays, the world of alcohol is often presented very glamorously on social media.
Together with various influencers, the alcohol industry is trying to sell and earn more by luring people into their glitzy and fizzy world of drinks and cocktails that smell good and look even better.
For this reason, people often forget that alcohol is, in fact, a drug, and alcoholism statistics show that anyone can get addicted pretty easily.
Additionally, alcoholism doesn’t affect only the life of people who suffer from it but the lives of their friends and family, as well.
With that in mind, it’s time to get rid of the stigma that has surrounded alcoholism for so long, and show that it can affect anyone regardless of their race, age, or gender.
Let’s first take a look at the most shocking stats and facts on alcoholism:
Top 10 sobering statistics and facts about alcohol:
- Alcohol abuse is responsible for more than 88,000 deaths every year.
- It’s estimated that an astounding 33% of adults drink excessively.
- Over 15 million people in the US suffer from alcohol use disorder.
- Alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in America.
- More than 50% of adults in the US have a family history of alcohol problems.
- Only 5.6% of people treated for alcoholism relapse after five years.
- Statistics on alcohol confirm that at least 10% of children live or have lived with a parent with an alcohol problem.
- Every year, more than 2,200 people die from alcohol poisoning.
- It’s estimated that 20% of the US adults who suffer from alcoholism also abuse Benzodiazepines.
- Approximately 25% of college students have academic difficulties due to drinking.
If you or someone you love suffers from alcoholism, these statistics will show you that, even though alcoholism is dangerous, it can be cured with the help of professionals, support groups, and people who love you.
General Alcoholism Statistics
1. Alcohol abuse is responsible for more than 88,000 deaths every year.
Excessive alcohol use also leads to the death of one in every ten adults aged 20 to 64 years, and 2.5 million years of potential life lost.
What is even scarier is that binge drinking had caused more than 50% of these deaths and close to three-quarters of the years of potential life lost.
2. Women who consume four drinks, and men who consume five drinks in two hours are binge drinking.
Alcohol facts and NIAAA reveal that binge drinking is much less than what people assume it is. It’s a pattern of drinking that raises the blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 g/dL, which typically happens when men consume five, and women four drinks in about two hours.
By comparison, NIAAA also defines moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
Moreover, alcohol abuse facts define heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on five or more days in a month.
Binge drinking and heavy alcohol use are not the same as alcoholism, but they greatly increase the individual’s risk of alcohol use disorder.
3. It’s estimated that 33% of adults drink excessively.
Research shows that nearly one in every three adults drinks too much.
However, this doesn’t mean that they suffer from alcoholism, but alcohol consumption statistics show that excessive drinking also raises people’s chances of developing alcohol abuse disorder.
4. Over 15 million people in the US suffer from alcohol use disorder.
However, less than 8% of these people get the very much needed professional help. In order to seek help, or help someone, It’s crucial to recognize the early signs of alcoholism.
Some of the signs may include problems at school or work due to drinking and engaging in dangerous activities, like drinking and driving. Alcohol addiction facts also include blacking out and not being able to remember anything as another sign of addiction.
5. In 2010 alone, excessive drinking cost the US economy $249 billion.
Drinking causes workplace productivity reduction, healthcare expenses, car crashes, and other unnecessary costs. In addition to this, 77% of these costs were attributed to binge drinking. Furthermore, $2 out of every $5 came from federal, state, and local governments, meaning that everyone pays for excessive alcohol use.
6. Alcohol death statistics reveal that every year 3 million people worldwide die from alcohol abuse.
Moreover, this represents 5.3% of all deaths around the world. Research also reveals that alcohol abuse is the main cause of more than 200 types of injuries and diseases.
Furthermore, 5.1% of the global burden of diseases and injuries can be attributed to alcohol abuse. In addition to this, alcohol abuse also causes disabilities very early in life.
Alcohol Addiction Statistics
7. One in eight Americans suffers from alcohol disorder.
This means that close to 30 million adults in the US can’t control their alcohol intake. What makes this data even scarier is the fact that this is a 50% increase from 2003. Moreover, the largest alcohol disorder increase was in people aged 65 and older.
8. Alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in America.
Alcohol abuse statistics put alcoholism almost at the top of the leading preventable causes of death in the US. Alcohol abuse affects both the body and the mind. It causes various injuries and health issues, and it increases the death risk.
Additionally, it impairs judgment, which can lead to car crashes that can cause injuries and even death. It also increases the chances of assault, and it can cause or worsen depression – including clinical depression, manic depression, and bipolar depression.
9. Statistics on alcohol confirm that at least 10% of children live or have lived with a parent with an alcohol problem.
This is another proof that alcohol affects a great number of people and not just the person who suffers from the addiction.
The whole family of the individual who abuses alcohol suffers in numerous ways – emotionally, financially, and developmentally.
10. More than 50% of the overall adults in the US have a family history of alcohol problems.
Alcohol facts and statistics state that it’s very important to know your family history, because genetics can predisposition someone to the disease.
With more than half of the American adults who have a personal family history of problem drinking or alcohol addiction, it’s crucial to be aware of how serious this addiction is.
11. Blackouts occur when a person’s blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.20 to 0.30.
(Alta Mira Recovery)
According to the alcohol blackout facts, this is much more than the 0.08 blood alcohol concentration level at which the person is considered too intoxicated to drive.
Blackouts can cause both short and long term health issues, they can lead to brain damage, and they can prevent the blacked-out person from learning new information.
12. Only 5.6% of people treated for alcoholism relapse after five years.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that requires months and years of recovery. Alcohol relapse statistics report that 62% of people treated for alcoholism, through both alcohol rehab and AA meetings, have not relapsed in the following three years.
However, 9.1% have relapsed after 10 years, and 12% have relapsed after 20 years of sobriety.
13. Every year, more than 2,200 people die from alcohol poisoning.
(Medical News Today)
This means that, on average, there are six deaths every day caused by alcohol poisoning, according to the alcohol poisoning facts.
Usually, the liver can successfully filter out all the toxins from our body, including alcohol.
However, the faster a person drinks, the faster the alcohol gets into their bloodstream, which their liver can’t filter quickly enough.
Fast drinking increases blood alcohol levels, which furthermore affects the person’s mental and physical functions.
When the blood alcohol levels become very high, breathing and the gag reflex, which prevents us from choking, can stop functioning and cause people to die.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statistics
14. It’s estimated that 20% of the US adults who suffer from alcoholism also abuse Benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepines are nervous system depressants, with representatives like Xanax and Valium. They are most commonly prescribed for sleep disorders and anxiety, and they can cause dependence, which can coincide with other forms of substance abuse, like alcoholism.
Benzodiazepines can also lead to overdose when combined with other drugs. The number of these overdoses increased from 1,135 to 11,537 from 1999 to 2017.
15. Drugs and alcohol facts show that people who abuse alcohol are two times more likely to be addicted to heroin.
Alcohol addiction and substance abuse sometimes go hand in hand. When people are under the influence of alcohol, their judgment is clouded, which can sometimes spark an impulse to do things they ordinarily wouldn’t, and trying drugs is just one of them.
16. Out of 2.1 million ER visits caused by drug abuse, drug and alcohol abuse facts show that 14% were caused by alcohol in combination with other illicit substances.
Research shows that there were more than 2 million ER visits related to drug abuse in 2009.
Over 27% of these visits were caused by non-medical abuse of prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and supplements. Illicit drug abuse caused more than 21% of ER visits, and an astounding 14% were caused by the combination of alcohol and drug abuse.
Youth and Alcohol Awareness Facts
17. Children who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism compared to those who start drinking at 21.
Experimentation, peer pressure, and stress are just some of the many reasons teens start drinking very early.
Unfortunately, they are often not aware of the long term dangers that alcohol abuse carries, so they put themselves at great risk of alcoholism later in their lives.
18. Alcohol stats report that underage youth consumes about 11% of the overall consumed alcohol in America.
Even though people younger than 21 can’t legally buy alcohol, teenagers and young adults aged 12 to 20 consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adults.
Furthermore, the same research has revealed that 90% of this alcohol is consumed by binge drinking.
19. In 2017, 6% of high school students engaged in drinking and driving.
According to teenage alcohol abuse statistics, 30% of teens have drunk some amount of alcohol during one month, while 14% of them binge drank.
Additionally, 6% of teenagers drove after drinking, and 17% entered a car with a driver who has been drinking.
20. Approximately 25% of college students have academic difficulties due to drinking.
Research has estimated that one-quarter of college students in the US experience academic consequences because of drinking.
According to college alcohol facts, these students miss classes, fall behind, and do badly on tests. Furthermore, 20% of college students also meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder.
In 2018, 9.6% of college students aged 18 to 22 admitted they had used alcohol heavily during the previous month, compared to 6.9% of other people of the same age, as college alcohol statistics have shown. This has led to more than 1,800 death-causing injuries, including car crashes.
In addition to this, statistics also reveal that about 50% of all sexual assaults among college students involve alcohol, and the aggressor is intoxicated in one-third of these assaults.
Research also estimates that approximately 43% of sexual assault victims have used alcohol, while this is the case with 69% of perpetrators.
Stats on Alcohol and Pregnancy
23. Globally, one in ten women drink during pregnancy, and 20% of them engage in binge drinking.
No amount of alcohol is safe for the fetus, and drinking during pregnancy can cause serious health issues for the child – fetal alcohol syndrome being just one of them.
What is even more alarming is that more than 80% of pregnancies in developing countries, and over 50% of pregnancies in developed countries, are unplanned, meaning that many women drink not knowing they are pregnant.
24. Fetal alcohol syndrome statistics show that the prevalence of FASD in the US is 10 in 100 children.
(The Doctor Will See You Now)
The FASD is very often misdiagnosed, under-diagnosed, or even not recognized. The prevalence data is based on medical records, which means that only the children already diagnosed with FASD are included. Some studies also estimate that this number may actually be ten times higher.
25. Fetal alcohol syndrome facts reveal that every year 40,000 babies in the US are born with FAS and FASD.
Fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder can develop even before the child is born, and the damage can range from mild to severe.
Alcohol is the main preventable cause of birth defects, developmental disabilities, and learning disabilities. Moreover, consuming alcohol during pregnancy causes more harm than using cocaine or heroin during pregnancy.
Alcohol Myths and Facts
You can drink alcohol and still be in control.
(College Drinking Prevention)
Drinking causes your judgment to be impaired and raises the possibility of doing something you will regret. It also increases the likelihood of causing harm to yourself or others.
Moreover, people are intoxicated long before they start showing physical signs of intoxication, meaning that the critical decision-making abilities are affected even before it becomes obvious.
You can sober up quickly if you need to.
Alcoholism statistics show that taking a shower, drinking ten cups of coffee, and eating a loaf of bread are just urban myths, not an aid for sobering up.
The only proven method of getting sober is giving your body time.
Depending on your weight, it might take your body three hours on average to completely filter out two drinks.
If you take ibuprofen before drinking, your hangover will not be as bad.
(UVA Health System)
Drinking alcohol facts show that you should under no circumstances take aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen when drinking because they will irritate your stomach.
Moreover, the combination of alcohol and aspirin may even cause liver inflammation, which would allow more alcohol into the bloodstream and potentially damage your liver.
Beer has less alcohol than liquor.
(College Drinking Prevention)
A 12-ounce bottle of beer has the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine, which, as statistics about alcohol state, has 12% alcohol by volume. Furthermore, it has the same amount of alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor or distilled spirits.
The worst thing that can happen to you is that you’ll pass out or have a bad hangover.
The worst thing that can actually happen to you is death, which happens very often.
Alcohol poisoning or acute alcohol intoxication happens when the alcohol levels in your body are so high, they act like a poison. Very often, this results in death.
How long does alcohol stay in your system?
Alcohol is mainly processed by the liver, which can metabolize, on average, one standard drink per hour for men. The amount of food that a person has eaten, their age, weight, and gender also influence the speed at which their liver will process alcohol. Usually, alcohol stays in the breath and saliva for 12 to 24 hours, and for 90 days in hair.
How long does alcohol stay in your urine?
Urine tests can detect alcohol in your system long after you have had a drink. Standard tests can detect alcohol in your system 12 to 48 after drinking, while some more advanced tests can detect alcohol from a drink that you have had 80 hours prior to testing.
How long does alcohol stay in your blood?
Depending on which test is used, alcohol can be detected in your blood for up to 12 hours after drinking.
The Bottom Line
People who suffer from alcohol abuse disorder often feel like they can’t function without alcohol. We hope that this list of alcoholism statistics will show them that they can be cured, and that they can regain control over their life.
If you or your loved one suffers from this addiction, don’t be afraid – you are not alone. As these statistics show, millions of people are fighting the same battle. Luckily, with the help of professionals, love from family and friends, and help from support groups, anybody willing to fight this addiction can live a healthy and normal life again.