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Alcoholism is one of the biggest social problems in the
United States today. It affects almost every aspect of American social life.
- Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths annually, making it the third leading
cause of preventable mortality in the United States after tobacco and
- More than seven percent of the population ages 18 years and older -- nearly
13.8 million Americans -- have problems with drinking, including 8.1 million
people who are alcoholic.
- Almost three times as many men (9.8 million) as women (3.9 million) are
problem drinkers, and prevalence is highest for both sexes in the 18-to-29 age
- About 43% of U.S. adults -- 76 million people -- have been exposed to
alcoholism in the family: they grew up with or married an alcoholic or a
problem drinker or had a blood relative who was an alcoholic or problem
- 62% of high school seniors report that they have been drunk; 31% say they
have had five or more drinks in a row during the last two weeks.
- People who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop
alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
- 3.1 million Americans -- approximately 1.4% of the population 12 and older --
received treatment for alcoholism and alcohol-related problems in 1997;
treatment peaked among people 26-34.
- Studies of suicide victims in the general population show that about 20% are
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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12