Health Care

Alcohol Use And Abuse Spiking In US, Study Says

Alcohol Use And Abuse Spiking In US, Study Says”

Researchers aren't exactly sure, but they believe the dramatic rise in drinking rates among women can be attributed to changing perceptions of female alcohol consumption. They also specify that those factors could be categorized in many different ways, be it through societal pressures, environmental circumstances, or individual situations. Problem drinking increased by an even greater percentage, and women, racial minorities, older adults and the poor saw particularly large spikes.

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 US adults. The study found high-risk drinking among USA adults spiked about 30 percent between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. 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.

These trends troubled researchers, who wrote "these findings portend increases in many chronic comorbidities in which alcohol use has a substantial role". Among women, alcohol abuse and dependence increased by 83.7 percent. That percentage rise is analogous to 10.5 million people at the existing population.

Overall, the study found that drinking rates increased by 11 percent overall for Americans, with 75 percent of Americans admitting to having an alcoholic beverage in the past year in 2013.

Researchers say women in particular are hitting the bottle more than ever.

The authors of the study also said these increases go unnoticed because of other damaging substances. Excess drinking caused on average more than 88,000 deaths in the US each year from 2006 to 2010, the Centers for Disease Control estimates - more than twice the number of deaths from prescription opioids and heroin last year. For instance, excessive drinking cost the country about $250 billion, mostly due to health costs. The costs show up in higher health care needs, lost productivity and prosecuting alcohol-fueled crimes from drunk driving to homicide.

Rehm said alcohol doesn't command the attention of policymakers the way tobacco, illicit drugs or prescription opioids have. Conduct was considered high probability if people outclassed the governments for alcohol consumption. In Canada, putting a floor under prices was linked to reductions in alcohol-related hospital visits.

And then there's problem drinking.

"I think that there's a lot of stigma still associated with it and people don't want to talk to their doctors about it", she said. "We haven't done the job for alcohol that we've done with depression".

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