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One In Seven Americans Have Had A Serious Drinking Problem At One Time.

December 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comAmerica, as you’ve probably noticed already, has a pretty serious drinking problem, and by the looks of things it isn’t going to disappear any time soon. A study from 2015 found that 32 million Americans, that’s nearly one in seven adults, had struggled with a serious drinking problem at some point over the last year. If you spread the official numbers over people’s entire lives, nearly one in three have suffered from “alcohol use disorder” at some point.

Alcohol use disorder, along with habits of binge drinking, is becoming far more widespread and intense as time goes on. Anti-alcoholism pressure and support groups believe that there’s been a significant cultural shift in recent times, which has made binge drinking more acceptable, and caused people to start drinking more on nights out. Another concerning figure shows that well under half of Americans 77blackcoupledrinkingwho have been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder actually bother to seek treatment. The figures are even lower for people who have had their diagnosis within a year. Many blame the low figures on the ever-present stigma attached to drinking problems, which can cause a lot of people to live in denial of their issue.

The term “alcohol use disorder” has been around for some time now, and refers to a wide range of problems linked to the term “alcoholism”, which still doesn’t have a universal medical definition. Having said that, most health professionals would agree that “alcoholism” connotes an alcohol use disorder that’s moderate to severe, characterized by regular, compulsive drinking and no ability to stop at will. When trying to diagnose alcohol use disorder, physicians will ask a range of questions, including: Do you spend a lot of time drinking, or getting over the after-effects or being sick as a result? Have you had times where you’ve ended up drinking significantly more than you intended? Have you ever experienced a potent urge, or even need to drink? You can read about more signs of alcohol problems in the news here at Clearbrook Treatment Centers.

George Koob, director of the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) was quoted following this study, saying: “There are various degrees of this disorder […] It could be somebody who’s gotten several DUIs. It could be that you just wake up hungover a lot. If you plan to binge over the weekend and miss some classes because of it, then maybe you already have a problem.”

As I’m sure many readers know, a lot of people will go through a phase of unhealthy drinking habits in early adulthood, and quickly grow out of it. However, when drinking becomes more of a problem, there’s no doubt that they need help, and a lot of people aren’t seeking the support they need so dearly. If the disorder is left to develop for too long, many will become stuck in a vicious cycle of drinking alcohol in order to solve or otherwise escape from a problem which alcohol had created in the first place. With the sheer amount alcohol use disorder costs the country and society, more certainly needs to be done!

Staff Writer; Todd Jones

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