Alcoholism Statistics

Drinking and Driving Statistics
Statistics on Alcoholism
Statistics of Alcoholism

Statistics on Alcoholism
Keeping a tab on the costs, human and financial, of alcohol.

Alcoholism statistics provide an insight into the costs and damage of alcoholism.

If you want to learn about alcoholism there is nothing like some real numbers to demonstrate the severity of the problem and how it actually affects its victims and the whole of society.

Below you will find statistics on alcoholism and its impact on society.

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Alcoholism Statistics
The Problem

The following numbers are taken from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Almost half of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2001 survey (48.3 percent). This translates to an estimated 109 million people.
  • Approximately 14 million Americans or 7.4 percent of the population - meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
  • More than one-half of American adults have a close family member who has or has had alcoholism.
  • Approximately one in four children younger than 18 years old in the United States is exposed to alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence while living within an alcoholic family.
  • Heavy drinking was reported by 5.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older, or 12.9 million people.


Statistics of Alcoholism
The Leading Abused Substance

In 2006 there were nearly 1.8 million admissions for treatment of alcohol and drug abuse to facilities that report to State administrative data systems. Most admissions (40 percent) were for alcohol treatment.

Percentage of Admissions Substance or Drug
21.9 Alcohol
17.8 Alcohol + another drug
16.1 Marijuana
13.7 Heroin
9.9 Smoked cocaine (crack)
8.7 Stimulants
4.2 Opiates (not heroin)
4.0 Other-than-smoked cocaine (e.g., cocaine powder)
0.4 Tranquilizers
0.2 PCP
0.2 Sedatives
0.1 Hallucinogens
0.1 Inhalants
0.5 Other drugs
2.4 None reported

Statistics on Alcoholism
The Cost of Alcohol

Alcoholism statistics on the economic costs to society reveal amazing facts.

First we see the diversified range of costs, from direct treatment and lost employment to victims of alcohol related crimes and the health costs of alcohol abuse.

Second, alcohol dependence and abuse cost the US approximately $220 billion in 2005. For the sake of comparison, this was greater than the amount of money spent to combat cancer ($196 billion) and obesity ($133 billion).

Economic costs to society of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, United States, 1983
Types of Cost Costs ($ millions)
Treatment (for alcohol abuse and alcoholism, liver cirrhosis, motor vehicle crashes, etc) 13,457
Health support services 1,549
Mortality 18,151
Reduced productivity 65,582
Lost employment 5,323
Motor vehicle crashes 2,697
Crime 2,631
Social welfare administration 49
Other 3,673
Victims of crime 194
Incarceration 2,979
Motor vehicle crashes 590
Total 116,875

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Alcoholism Statistics
Drinking and Driving Statistics

  • According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - in 2008, 31 percent of car accidents were alcohol related.
  • 64 percent of all car accidents between midnight and 3am were alcohol related.
  • Alcohol-related fatalities are caused primarily by the consumption of beer (80 percent) followed by liquor/wine at 20 percent.
  • The highest intoxication rates in fatal crashes in 2001 were recorded for drivers 21-24 years old (33 percent), followed by ages 25-34 (28 percent) and 35-44 (25 percent).
  • The intoxication rate (those over .08 BAC) for male drivers involved in fatal crashes was 24 percent, compared with 13 percent for female drivers.

  • Traffic crashes, traffic crash fatalities, and alcohol-related traffic crash fatalities, United States
    Year Traffic crashes Traffic crash fatalities (a) Alcohol-related traffic crash fatalities (b) Percent of all traffic crash fatalities (b/a)
    2004 38444 42836 16919 39
    2003 38477 42884 17105 39
    2002 38491 43005 17524 40
    2001 37862 42196 17400 41
    2000 37526 41945 17380 41
    1999 37140 41717 16572 39
    1998 37107 41501 16673 40
    1997 37321 42013 16711 39
    1996 37494 42065 17748 42
    1995 37242 41817 17732 42
    1994 36254 40716 17308 42
    1993 35780 40150 17908 44
    1992 34942 39250 18290 46
    1991 36937 41508 20159 48
    1990 39836 44599 22587 50
    1989 40741 45582 22423 49
    1988 42130 47087 23833 50
    1987 41438 46390 24093 51
    1986 41090 46087 25017 54
    1985 39195 43825 23166 52

    Other Alcoholism Statistics:

    • Globally alcohol consumption has increased in recent decades, with all or most of that increase in developing countries.
    • It is estimated that over 3 million teens between the ages of 14 and 17 in the United States today are alcoholics.
    • 62% of high school teenagers report that they have been drunk; 31% say they have had five or more drinks in a row during the last two weeks.
    • Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths annually, making it the third leading cause of preventable mortality in the United States after tobacco and diet/activity patterns.
    • Alcoholism prevalence is highest for both sexes in the 18-to-29 age group.
    • A survey of over 450 American alcohol abusers revealed that the vast majority of them did not grow up with a father figure in their households.
    • People who have a good relationship with their spouses have an 8.9% probability of developing alcoholism over the course of their lifetime. Contrarily, 29.2% of adults who are living with a partner and have never married are likely to become alcoholics.
    • One out of every five alcoholics who attempt to stop drinking without medical intervention end up dying as a result of alcoholic withdrawal delirium.
    • People who live with an alcoholic take ten times the amount of sick leave than individuals who are not exposed to alcoholism.
    • A staggering half-a-million US children aged nine to 12 are addicted to alcohol.

    If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:

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