38+ Scary Alcoholism Statistics to Help You Quit for Good

Alcoholism Statistics

Isn’t it odd how cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, yet it fails to cause nearly as many problems as alcohol does? Having read our alcoholism statistics, you’ll be wondering why on earth the situation isn’t vice versa: alcohol to be extremely restricted, and cannabis fully and irrevocably legal!

Admittedly, alcohol is said to have some good qualities, so not all alcohol facts are depressing. When drunk in moderation, it does have some benefits for our health. However, the pandemic in 2020 did not bring us those benefits, but the misinformation and alcohol consumption led to more deaths than ever before.

10 Shocking Alcoholism Statistics for 2021

  • 14.1 million Americans over 18 suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD).
  • The success rate of AA meetings is said to be between 8% and 12%.
  • The pandemic boosted overall alcohol sales by 55% in the US.
  • The FDA does not regulate alcohol.
  • New Hampshire residents drink the most alcohol in the US.
  • 10% of alcohol drinkers are responsible for 50% of alcohol consumption in the whole country.
  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Women consumed more alcohol than men during the pandemic.
  • The most expensive rehab center for alcohol and drugs is located in Switzerland and costs $370,000 a month.
  • Drinking alcohol is more damaging than using cannabis.

Now, let’s take a closer look, but be warned – you may not like what you’re about to read.

10 Facts About Alcohol We Should Learn Before Drinking

Here are some general stats and historical facts about the “number one killer in the world“ that you should know. 

1. Humans have been consuming alcohol for at least 9,000 years.

(National Geographic)

The earliest evidence of the fermented beverage was found in China, and it was made sometime around 7000 BC. Nevertheless, it is suggested that the influence of the so-called deliberately fermented beverage stretches even further in prehistory.

2. Alcohol history facts: the Prohibition was a complete and utter failure.

(CATO Institute)

How the prohibition backfired is a neverending source of inspiration for the cinema industry.  Contrary to the original expectations, in the period between 1920-1933, crime, alcohol abuse, corruption, and social problems increased greatly.

3. Alcohol can be found responsible for causing over 60 medical conditions.

(Alcohol Change UK) (Ria Health)

Not only the notorious cirrhosis of the liver, but various types of cancer (breast, stomach, liver, mouth, throat), high blood pressure, and depression can be triggered by alcohol.

4. Alcohol is good for your heart if consumed in moderation, interesting facts about alcohol report.

(WebMD)

When it’s taken in moderation, alcohol can lower your chances of a heart attack, stroke, or clogged arteries. This is probably due to the fact that small amounts of alcohol regulate “good” cholesterol levels (HDL). 

Nevertheless, excessive drinking increases the risks of heart disease.

5. Alcohol boosts appetite and improves sex life.

(WebMD)

Research shows that regular drinkers have greater sexual satisfaction and increased appetite. Also, they are keener on exercising. Once again, these facts refer only to moderate alcohol consumption.

6. Fun facts about alcohol and luxury: the most expensive alcoholic drink costs $6.2 million.

(Classy Edition)

Isabella Islay is a bottle of whiskey that’s customized to fit the wishes of each customer. An average bottle is decorated with 8500 diamonds and 300 rubies, white gold and English crystal decanter.

7. The FDA does not regulate spirits.

(FDA) (Hops&Vine)

The regulating body can be in charge of some beer or wine labels, but the intoxicating spirits are managed by another institution. Alcoholic drinks are regulated by the Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). 

This is also one of the reasons why alcohol nutrition facts are missing from the labels.

8. Research shows that heavy alcohol drinkers have a harder time losing weight.

(Wiley Online Library)

In addition, people who are diagnosed with diabetes can manage their weight more easily if they limit alcohol intake. What is more, CBD and cannabis have a say in weight loss as well.

9. The success rate of AA meetings is said to be between 8% and 12%.

(AAC)

According to one survey, 22% of AA members managed to stay sober for over 20 years, while 27% remained sober for less than one year. For alcoholism statistics, this is not a bad percentage. 

10. AA meetings are the most effective way of successfully abstaining from alcohol.

(Stanford Medicine)

Stanford School of Medicine analyzed 35 different studies and came to the conclusion that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings had a higher success rate than psychotherapy.

Moreover, this method saves up on your money as well. About $10,000 less per person is spent on mental health. 

Right now, AA has 2 million members in 180 nations and over 118,000 groups are operating.

Alcohol Consumption Statistics Worldwide

How many people in the world consume alcohol and should we be worried.

11. Moderate drinking implies one or two drinks per day (if an adult is healthy and old enough).

(Mayo Clinic)

One drink for women of all ages and men older than 65, and two drinks if a man is 65 or younger. 

By the way, one drink equals 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of distilled spirits.

12. Tunisia has the highest alcohol consumption in the world according to alcohol use statistics.

(World Population Review

Its citizens drink eight gallons of alcohol annually. Tunisia is followed by Swaziland (7.5 gallons), the Maldives (7.4 gallons), and Afghanistan (7.3 gallons).

In contrast, there is Bangladesh, with a mere0.19 gallon of alcohol drunk per year.

13. Women consumed more alcohol than men during the pandemic.

(Voa News)

Most recent statistics on alcohol consumption show us that during the pandemic Americans’ drinking habits rose by 14%. However, when it comes to heavy drinking, women increased their drinking habits by 41%. Consequently, alcohol-related death rates also rose for females.

It appears that having children in the home was connected with more drinking than usual. 

14. 85.6% of Americans admitted drinking alcohol at some point in their lives.

(NIAAA)

According to a survey from 2019, almost 90% of adult US citizens reported drinking, while 69.5% said they had drunk it during the previous year. 54.9% had done it the previous month.

15. New Hampshire residents drink the most alcohol in the US based on alcohol consumption by state statistics.

(World Population Review)

On average, they drink 4.76 gallons per capita per year and seem to have no competition. The runner-up, Washington DC, consumes 3.85 gallons per capita, while Delaware comes third with 3.72 gallons.

16. The pandemic boosted overall alcohol sales by 55% in the US.

(Statista)

Online sales grew up to a whopping 243% in March 2020. On a related note, Americans mostly spent their money on spirits (75% growth sale), wine (66%), and beer (42%).

17. Binge drinking is classified as drug abuse.

(VerywellMind)

Therefore, if you drink four (women) or five (men) drinks, or more than that in one sitting, this is considered substance abuse.

Really Grim Alcohol Abuse Facts & Stats

While it’s ok to take a sip of wine after work or to have a beer while watching a game on TV, drinking alcohol too often and in large quantities can lead to a serious problem. Here’s what the numbers tell us about alcohol abuse.

18. 14.1 million Americans over 18 suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD).

(NIAA)

Don’t be fooled by the term. Alcohol use disorder is just another name for alcohol addiction, a term preferred by physicians. 

19. Alcohol addiction statistics estimate that 414,000 adolescents in the US are struggling with AUD.

(NIAA)

About 163,000 teenage boys and 251,000 teenage girls between 12 and 17 are diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

20. The most expensive rehab center for alcohol and drugs is located in Switzerland and costs $370,000 a month.

(Men’s Health)

Paracelsus Recovery is the most luxurious rehab center in the whole world. Not only do you get the most advanced treatments and diagnosis, but you get to stay in your own penthouse apartment with a live-in cook and live-in therapist.

21. Another very depressing one among alcohol addiction facts says about 9% of college students classify as AUD cases.

(NIAAA)

Binge drinking is very much widespread, and research shows that about 1 in 4 college students admitted missing classes or obtaining poor grades due to alcohol drinking. Even worse, 1,825 students who are between 18 and 24 die each year in alcohol-related accidents.

22. There are 5 subtypes of alcoholics.

(Alcohol.org

They are the Young Adult subtype, Young Antisocial subtype, Functional subtype, Intermediate Familial subtype, and Chronic Severe subtype.

23. Alcohol death statistics tell an eerie story: 6% of cancer deaths worldwide are related to alcoholism.

(Cancer Control) (American Cancer Society)

Alcohol is a famous carcinogen. Alcohol abuse can cause mouth cancer, throat cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, esophagus cancer, and breast cancer.

24. The number of annual sexual assaults involving alcohol intoxication: 97,000.

(NIAAA) (Rehab Spot)

Alcohol abuse statistics have estimated that an additional 696,000 students are assaulted in a non-sexual way by an alcohol-impaired student every year.

25. Alcohol abuse is the third largest cause of death in the US.

(CDC

95,000 lives are lost every year due to alcoholism and alcohol abuse, which places it in third place by mortality rates. Heart disease comes first, while cancer research and stats show that the disease is in second place.

26. 10% of alcohol drinkers are responsible for 50% of alcohol consumption in the whole country.

(ProjectKnow) (Time)

Alcohol facts and statistics on consumption reveal there are nearly three times more male than female alcoholics, though the death rate in the latter has increased in recent years. Overall, the number of alcohol-related deaths more than doubled in the past two decades.

27. 25% of women dealing with an eating disorder have AUD. 

(ProjectKnow)

This comes as no surprise as eating disorders can be a type of mental disorder, which tends to accompany substance abuse.

28. Dangerous Coronavirus alcoholism misconception: 728 people died from methanol poisoning in Iran in order to prevent the virus.

(NCBI) (Aljazeera)

Believing alcohol (ethanol) can cure COVID-19, Iranians started drinking. As methanol is much cheaper than ethanol, manufacturers were dying it and selling it as ethanol, which had disastrous consequences.  

5,011 Iranians were diagnosed with methanol poisoning between February and April 2020. 90 people suffered some form of eye damage and 728 people lost their lives.

29. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

(NCBI) (Mayo clinic)

Fetal alcohol syndrome facts tell us that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause serious problems for the child that include physical deformities, brain problems, and behavioral issues. Women with a long history of alcohol abuse (over 30) are at higher risk of giving birth to a child with the aforementioned condition. 

30. Alcohol worsens depression in the long term.

(AAC)

While some people expect a short-term energy boost after taking alcohol, it can only intensify depression symptoms (insomnia, fatigue, aches, etc.).

31. Alcohol withdrawal death rate is 20% (if left untreated).

(Medscape)

Quitting alcohol completely is not recommended by physicians as it can have a deadly outcome, apart from some other complications which occur during withdrawal such as infections, gastrointestinal bleeding, pancreatitis, liver failure, etc.

32. COVID-19 affected AA group meetings in a way they had to move to online platforms.

(AA

The focus of AA groups (Alcoholic Anonymous) is to help people stay sober through mutual support and frequent meetings. Given that the global pandemic created a new normal that included social distancing, many groups continued their work through telehealth services and online platforms.

Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Statistics & Facts

Alcohol and drug abuse make a dangerous combination that can often lead to serious consequences. Here’s what the numbers tell us on addiction and other dangers:

33. Alcohol is a drug.

(VerywellMind)

By definition, a drug is any substance which has mind-altering properties, so alcohol clearly falls under that definition. Nicotine is a drug as well, even though its hazardous effects are not immediately evident.

34. Drinking alcohol is more damaging than using cannabis.

(MedicalNewsToday)

With all the latest research and statistics on marijuana, the public may finally come to realize alcohol is more harmful. According to one study, the damage it causes to the brain regarding white and grey matter is detrimental, whereas marijuana had no impact. High CBD strains are particularly beneficial to our health.

35. Teenage alcohol abuse statistics report alcohol is deadlier than all other drugs.

(City Vision University)

Alcohol contributes to the three leading causes of death for the population who are 15-24 year old: suicide, homicide, and accidents.

36. COVID-19 was responsible for a dire rise in substance and alcohol abuse in the US. 

(The Recovery Village)

Based on one survey, during the lockdown people mostly consumed alcohol (88%), marijuana (37%), and prescription opioids (15%) due to stress and boredom. That said, it’s likely that during the pandemic a lot of Americans are faced with a risk of developing a substance abuse disorder.

37. Alcohol poisoning facts say combining alcohol and marijuana increases the risk.

(Alcohol.org)

It also increases the risk of overdosing on THC. However, no one has died of marijuana overdose to date, whereas alcohol poisoning is life-threatening.

38. Even though they are a rising cannabis niche demographic, seniors are less likely to abuse alcohol and marijuana.

(Public Health Ontario)

Adults who are between 18-49 years old are more likely to get involved even though Baby Boomers have become keen cannabis consumers.

Conclusion

Alcohol facts may be interesting and we are prone to taking alcohol for granted. The common social lubricant is widely accepted in most regions of the world. It is not to say that alcohol is the same as poison, as it has some good qualities besides making us less anxious and more relaxed. 

However, alcoholism statistics undoubtedly show that a huge number of people out there needs help much more than they realize. Hopefully, society and the government will react with innovative and sound strategies before the situation becomes even worse.

FAQs

How many people are alcoholics?

14.1 million 18+ Americans abuse alcohol. In other words, based on the statistics, 8.9 million men and 5.2 million women in the US are alcoholics.

What percentage of alcoholics die from alcoholism?

Out of 331 million Americans, about 95,000 people lose their lives to alcohol each year. That’s 261 deaths daily. 

Middle-aged men are more often the victims of alcohol abuse, even though there’s a substantial rise in binge drinking among women, especially during the pandemic.

What percent of drinkers are alcoholics?

Can binge drinkers and heavy drinkers be considered to be alcoholics? First, let’s explain what binge drinking and heavy drinking is. 

People drinking 4-5 or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion are called binge drinkers, while people who have 8-15 drinks per week are considered to be heavy drinkers. On that note, 2.4% of drinkers are considered to be alcoholics in the US. 

What state has the highest rate of alcoholism?

While the average consumption of alcohol in the US is 2.3 gallons per year, New Hampshire has the highest rate of alcoholism, with 4.76 gallons per capita. 

On top of that, during the pandemic, there was a growth of alcohol sales in New Hampshire by 10%. Most recent alcoholism statistics reveal Americans drank 7.8 billion gallons of alcohol, which translates as 6.3 billion gallons of beer, 900 million gallons of wine, and 570 million gallons of spirits.

List of Sources:

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