Alcohol Abuse Statistics


Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in situations that can result in the failure to attend to important responsibilities at school, work, or at home; ongoing alcohol-related relationship problems; the experience of recurring alcohol-related legal problems; and/or physical injury.

There are various issues concerning alcohol abuse that need to be examined in order to better understand this dangerous drinking pattern.

Focusing on the alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics that are available, it is asserted, is one of the more informative ways to analyze alcohol abuse and its related issues.

Why Alcohol Abuse Statistics are Needed

Regrettably, the full extent of the destructive and pervasive manifestations of alcohol abuse and alcoholism are not typically realized until various alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics are explicitly stated.


As a consequence, the following alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics and facts, established via an assortment of online surveys and research studies, will be listed below:

  • The World Health Organization estimates that about 76 million people throughout the world suffer from alcohol-related disorders.

  • According to recent studies, it has been discovered that approximately 53% of adults in the United States have reported that one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem.

  • Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse cost the United States an estimated $220 billion in 2005. This dollar amount was more than the cost associated with obesity ($133 billion) or with cancer ($196 billion).

  • The overwhelming majority of youth (74% of 8-17 year-olds; 74% of 8-12 year-olds; 74% of 13-17 year-olds) cite their parents as the primary influence in their decisions about whether they drink alcohol or not.

  • The 25.9% of underage drinkers in the United States who are alcohol abusers and alcohol dependent drink 47.3% of the alcohol that is consumed by all underage drinkers.

  • Problem drinkers are mostly found in young adults between the ages of 18 and 29. Conversely, the age group with the fewest alcohol problems is adults who are 65 years old or older.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there were 17,000 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in each of the last three years.

  • In the United States, research has demonstrated that continued alcohol abuse is one of the major risk factors for violence in intimate relationships.

  • Fifty percent of U.S. homicides are alcohol related.

  • Over all, about three-quarters of all prisoners in 1997 were involved in alcohol or drug abuse in some way in the time leading up to their current offense..

  • Forty percent of U.S. assaults are alcohol related.

  • In 2002, U.S. alcoholism statistics reported that 2.6 million binge drinkers were between the ages of 12 and 17.

  • More than 100,000 U.S. deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year. Direct and indirect causes of death include drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, falls, cancer, and stroke.

  • Research was conducted in 1998 to determine the total cost attributable to the consequences of underage drinking. The cost was more than $58 billion per year.

  • Women are more likely to die of cirrhosis of the liver and violence caused by alcohol abuse and die 11 years earlier than their male counterparts.

  • Across people of all ages, males are four times as likely as females to be heavy drinkers.

  • Those who are most vulnerable to excessive alcohol and drug abuse are young adults between the ages of 18-25.

  • 3.1 million Americans, roughly 1.4% of the population 12 and older, received addiction treatment for alcoholism and alcohol-related problems in 1997; treatment peaked among people 26-34.

  • Numerous studies suggest a significant relationship between work stress and the development of drinking problems.

  • It is estimated that more than 3 million teenagers in the U.S. between the ages of 14 to 17 are problem drinkers.

  • Problem drinkers average four times as many days in the hospital as non drinkers--mostly because of drinking-related injuries.

  • Research has shown that long-term drug and alcohol abuse costs business and industry an estimated $100 billion annually. Alcoholism alone causing 500 million lost work days a year.

  • In the U.S., more than 40% of those who start drinking at age 14 or younger become alcoholic.

  • About one in ten Americans currently has an alcohol problem.

  • The lowest rates of heavy alcohol use are among data clerks, personnel specialists and secretaries.

  • According to one study, 68% of those people who come to a trauma center have an alcohol or drug problem.

  • As much as 50 percent of police work is spent addressing alcohol-related problems in our nation. This would mean that the annual cost to law enforcement agencies is at least $7.5 billion dollars.

  • Three out of ten adults report that drinking has been a cause of trouble in their family.

  • Relatively few of the more than 18 million U.S. alcohol abusers receive the treatment they need.

  • Underage drinking costs Americans nearly $53 billion annually. If this cost were shared equally by each congressional district, the amount would total more than $120 million per district.

  • Alcohol is typically found in the offender, victim or both in about half of all homicides and serious assaults, as well as in a high percentage of sex-related crimes, robberies, and incidents of domestic violence, and alcohol-related problems are disproportionately found among both juvenile and adult criminal offenders.

  • Currently, nearly 14 million Americans, 1 in every 13 adults-abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. Several million more adults engage in risky drinking patterns that could lead to alcoholism.

  • In a survey of 18 to 24 year-old current drinkers who failed to complete high school, nearly 60 percent had begun to drink before the age of 16.

  • 7.5% of Americans employed in full-time jobs report heavy drinking, defined as drinking five or more drinks per occasion on five or more days in the past 30 days; 6.6% of part-timers and 10.8% of unemployed workers also report heavy drinking; across all three categories, heavy drinkers are most likely to be found in the 18 to 25 year old age group.

  • According to one study, almost 11% of 8th-graders, 22% of 10th-graders, and 27% of 12th-graders report binge drinking (five drinks in a row in the last two weeks).


Conclusion: Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Ironically, in spite of the fact that basic alcohol information such as the negative consequences of abusing alcohol has been known for centuries, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency continue to damage and devastate human lives in our "aware" and "enlightened" society.

Indeed, to substantiate this statement, one merely has to observe some of the appalling alcohol abuse statistics and alcoholism statistics described above.