Alcohol is one of the oldest intoxicating substances known to humankind.
According to a study just published in JAMA Psychiatry, it’s also increasingly leading to addiction in the form of “alcohol use disorder” or alcoholism.
According to the study, one in eight Americans over the age of 18 meets the definition of an alcoholic.
That is not a typo. One in eight..
Even more disturbing nearly one in four adults under the age of 30 now meets the criterion for alcoholism.
Sadly, the number of people now defined as alcoholics jumped 49% in the first decade of the 21st century alone.
Calling the problem a serious and overlooked public health crisis, the study authors also found that rates of alcoholism were highest among men (16.7 percent), Native Americans (16.6 percent), people below the poverty threshold (14.3 percent), and people living in the Midwest (14.8 percent).
What defines an alcoholic according to the study?
Anyone meeting these criteria is defined medically as an alcoholic (taken directly from the National Institutes of Health):
What’s leading to this dramatic increase in alcoholism? Study authors believe the same factors behind the opioid crisis are driving this one - “ stress and despair tied to social inequality.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to alcohol - the alcohol rehab specialists at Aware Recovery Care can help immensely. Using a treatment model inspired by researchers at Yale, Aware Recovery Care is helping addicts recover at rates substantially above the national average. Learn more today at www.awarerecoverycare.com.