Alcohol Awareness Month: 5 Fast Facts About Alcohol Addiction

By Crystal Hessong

April 16, 2018

Alcohol Awareness Month occurs every April. In honor of this month's mission to educate the public on alcohol addiction, here are some facts you may not know about alcoholism.

1. Alcoholism is More Common Than You Think

Alcohol addiction affects 15.1 million Americans over 18, or 6.2 percent of the adult population. Even more astonishing, 2.5 percent of children ages 12 to 18 have an alcohol problem. These numbers indicate that many Americans are affected by alcoholism either directly or indirectly.

2. Few Receive Treatment

Despite the millions of people with this problem, only a small percentage seek alcohol rehab or another form of recovery. Just 6.7 percent of adults with an alcohol addiction sought treatment, and more men than women looked for ways to recover with 7.6 percent of men getting help compared to only 5.4 percent of women.

3. Alcohol is the Third Leading Cause of Death

If you don't think alcoholism is serious, think again. Each year in the United States, approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes. This makes alcohol the third leading cause of death in the country. Not all these deaths result from drinking and driving, but a third of auto accident fatalities can be traced back to driving while intoxicated.

4. Men and Women are Not the Same When It Comes to Drinking

While men and women are equal in many ways, when it comes to alcohol, differences appear. Men are more likely than women to drink excessively and die from alcohol use. In fact, 7.4 percent of men report alcohol use disorder compared to 5.4 percent of adult females. Among those who die from alcohol-related causes, 62,000 are men and 26,000 are women.

Despite the higher numbers for alcohol addiction in men, alcohol use is more dangerous for women. Women have smaller bodies with a higher percentage of body fat compared to men. These factors mean it takes less alcohol to get a woman drunk, and the alcohol gets metabolized slower. So, women take longer to recover from excessive drinking.

5. Treatment Does Not Mean a 12-Step Program

Getting treatment for alcoholism does not mean going through a 12-step program. These programs are only a small portion of the many treatment options available. For instance, an in-patient rehab center such as Passages Malibu, takes a more personalized approach to recovery from alcohol addiction in a way that does not involve the 12-step approach.

If you are concerned about alcohol use in yourself or in a loved one, research treatment options and get help as soon as possible. Recovery can be achieved.