According to a new study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that alcohol use in the USA has been on the rise.
Between 2002 and 2013, overall drinking increased by 11 percent.
"My view is that if we ignore these problems, they will come back to us at much higher costs through emergency department visits, impaired children who are likely to need care for many years for preventable problems, and higher costs for jails and prisons that are the last resort for help for many", Schuckit wrote. The disorder is determined by such symptoms as alcohol interfering with a person's home or work life, suffering withdrawal symptoms after abstaining from alcohol and being unable to cut down on or stop drinking, among others. According to the study, high-risk drinking increased in women by 60%, and only 15% for men. This is especially true among women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.
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Heavy drinking can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, cancer and infections, and liver problems.
And it's not just the study authors who are concerned. The number of adults who suffered from an alcohol abuse or dependence grew from 17.6 million to 29.9 million over that decade. Among black people, it increased by 92.8 percent.
From 65 percent in the early 2000s, up to 73 percent by 2013.
'Most important, the findings herein highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and AUD, destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who can not reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment'. "Most important, the findings herein highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and [alcohol use disorder], destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who can not reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment", according to the study. These face-to-face interviews queried adults 18 years and older on their drinking habits in the past 12 months. The authors of the study say that the cost of society every year for alcohol-related problems is approximately $250 billion.
As for women, the results show a narrowing of the "gender gap" in drinking disorders, which is consistent with previous research. Changing social norms around female alcohol consumption are part of the equation, the study says - but stress may be another factor.
This study wasn't created to determine why people are drinking more.
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