Our Medical Director, Richard Margolis MD, helps us make sense of new information in psychiatry, addiction, and behavioral health. This article provides Alcohol Facts and Statistics across a range of areas that impact functioning and mortality.
According to the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism an estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually. This sobering statistic makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).
• More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study.
Prevalence of Underage Drinking
• According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 33.1 percent of 15-year-olds report that they have had at least 1 drink in their lives.
• About 7.7 million people ages 12–20 (20.3 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month (19.8 percent of males and 20.8 percent of females).
Prevalence of Underage Binge Drinking
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, approximately 5.1 million people (about 13.4 percent) ages 12–20 (13.4 percent of males and 13.3 percent of females) reported binge drinking in the past month.
Prevalence of Underage Heavy Alcohol Use
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, approximately 1.3 million people (about 3.3 percent) ages 12–20 (3.6 percent of males and 3.0 percent of females) reported heavy alcohol use in the past month.
Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use
• Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years could interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing Alcohol Use Disorders.
• In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, including injuries, sexual assaults, and even deaths—including those from car crashes.
Alcohol and College Students
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, 58.0 percent of full-time college students ages 18–22 drank alcohol in the past month compared with 48.2 percent of other persons of the same age.
Prevalence of Binge Drinking among College Students
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, 37.9 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported binge drinking in the past month compared with 32.6 percent of other persons of the same age.
Prevalence of Heavy Alcohol Use among College Students
• According to the 2015 NSDUH, 12.5 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported heavy alcohol use in the past month compared with 8.5 percent of other persons of the same age.
Consequences of Alcohol Use among College Students
• Researchers estimate that each year 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
• 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
• 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
• Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder
• About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
Alcohol and Pregnancy
• The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the United States was estimated by the Institute of Medicine in 1996 to be between 0.5 and 3.0 cases per 1,000.
• More recent reports from specific U.S. sites report the prevalence of FAS to be 2 to 7 cases per 1,000, and the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) to be as high as 20 to 50 cases per 1,000.
Alcohol and the Human Body
• In 2013, of the 72,559 liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older, 45.8 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 48.5 percent of the 46,568 liver disease deaths involved alcohol. Among females, 41.8 percent of the 25,991 liver disease deaths involved alcohol.
• Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2013, 47.9 percent were alcohol related. The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (76.5 percent) among deaths of persons ages 25–34, followed by deaths of persons ages 35–44, at 70.0 percent.
• In 2009, alcohol-related liver disease was the primary cause of almost 1 in 3 liver transplants in the United States.
• Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast.