While alcoholism has in the past carried with it a stigma that has caused sufferers to hide their disease and refrain from seeking treatment, the consequences of alcohol abuse are widespread and require skilled professional help in order to combat them.
These facts from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reflect just how common alcohol abuse and alcoholism are – and how dangerous:
Facts about alcohol abuse in the US and globally
Approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women die every year in the United States from alcohol related causes. This makes alcohol and its effects the third leading preventable cause of death in the country.
3.3 million deaths globally in 2012 were the result of alcohol consumption. This number makes up 5.9 percent of global deaths that year.
10,322 driving fatalities or 31 percent of all driving fatalities, in the United States in 2012 were attributed to alcohol impairment.
Facts about alcohol use among the underage
Alcohol use during the teenage years can interfere with brain development and can contribute to many dire consequences, including death. Facts about alcohol use among people ages 12-20 include:
- 9.3 million reported drinking alcohol in the past month
- 5.9 million were binge drinkers
- 1.7 million were heavy drinkers, having engaged in binge drinking at least five times in one month
Facts about alcohol among college students
According to a 2012 study of college students ages 18-22:
- 60.3 percent had consumed alcohol in the past month
- 40.1 percent had engaged in binge drinking within the past month
- 14.4 percent had engaged in heavy drinking in the past month
- Researchers estimate that around 20% of college students qualify as having an alcohol use disorder
Treatment for alcoholism
These statistics make it clear that alcohol abuse is far-reaching and carries many dangers. However, quitting alcohol cold turkey is also dangerous and should only be attempted while under close medical supervision.
Within days after quitting, hallucinations, convulsions and even heart seizure can occur. For months thereafter, withdrawal symptoms can include the following:
- Delirium tremens
- Profuse sweating
These symptoms will last longer depending upon how long and how heavily the patient drank, but can be managed with medications that will ease their severity.
Seeking treatment in order to end alcohol dependence is always the safest course of action. Make a difficult and dangerous situation easier on yourself by getting professional help.