Americans, Especially Women, Are Drinking Alcohol More Frequently Now

High-risk drinking increases substantially among some groups in the US, study says

In that time period, alcohol use among adults increased from 65% to 72%, and high-risk drinking from 9% to 12.6%, suggesting that almost 30 million Americans now suffer from alcohol addiction.

The study's authors characterize the findings as a serious and overlooked public health crisis, noting that alcoholism is a significant driver of mortality from a cornucopia of ailments: "fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, liver cirrhosis, several types of cancer and infections, pancreatitis, type 2 diabetes, and various injuries". Their findings were published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

The study also suggested that women, racial/ethnic minorities, older adults and those with lower educational levels and family incomes showed the greatest levels of alcohol use disorders.

Americans are drinking more than they used to - a lot more.

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There's no single explanation for the increase, but the study says economic stress and the aftermath of the great recession could be contributing factors.

"These increases constitute a public health crisis that may have been overshadowed by increases in much less prevalent substance use (marijuana, opiates, and heroin) during the same period", the researchers wrote.

High-risk drinking, in this study, referred to women drinking four or more drinks in a day, or men drinking five or more drinks in a day, on a weekly basis.

Spikes in overall drinking and problem drinking were especially high among women, older Americans, and minorities.

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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. That percentage rise is analogous to 10.5 million people at the existing population. However, by 2012-2013 the rate was about 13 percent (nearly 30 million people).

An alarming new study says rates of high-risk drinking and alcohol abuse among certain groups is rising in the United States. For instance, excessive drinking cost the country about $250 billion, mostly due to health costs.

The juvenile drinking is on the rise in America and so is the consumption of alcohol by adults which has increased manifold.

The study tracked drinking patterns among 40,000 people between the years of 2002 and 2003, and then again from 2012 to 2013 to create a long-term picture of their habits. Conduct was considered high probability if people outclassed the governments for alcohol consumption.

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The study's findings, the authors wrote, "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". "Policymakers and health professionals need to be aware of this, too".

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