How Prevalent Is Alcohol Abuse In America?

According to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 88,000 deaths per year are related to alcohol. Alcohol related deaths can include car accidents, injury, overdose, liver failure, heart attack, seizure, and stroke. A number that has been making headlines is 52,000- the number of lives that were claimed by opioid overdose in 2015. Preliminary analysis believes that number might have risen another tragic 7,00 lives in 2016. Even the high opioid numbers don’t compare to the sheer volume of people who are dying every day in America because of alcohol misuse. In 2015 over 33,000 people died from direct alcohol related problems. In addition to deaths, alcohol costs America millions for police, hospitals, and city costs. Millions of people are hospitalized for their injuries and illnesses due to alcohol misuse.

There is a difference between alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and alcohol misuse, by the effects of alcohol poses the same threat for everyone. Alcoholism is defined by the uncontrollable need to consume alcohol and the uncontrollable consumption of alcohol. People who abuse and misuse alcohol might not necessarily be alcoholics. They could be in a stage of using alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism but are not chemically dependent upon alcohol to function. Its arguable that there are varying stages of alcoholism, alcohol abuse being one of them. However, alcoholism is very specific in what it entails. The brain and the body become fully dependent upon the presence of alcohol in the bloodstream, Alcohol abusers and people who misuse alcohol might have a psychological urge to drink, experience obsessive thoughts, and even feel a physical “itch” to drink.

Typically, someone who is abusing alcohol but is not an alcoholic will not develop a tolerance to alcohol, nor will they experience symptoms of withdrawal without alcohol, Developing a tolerance, which means not getting drunk on the same amount of alcohol anymore, and symptoms of withdrawal, the various physical and psychological symptoms of sickness that occur after the consumption of alcohol has been stopped. Additionally, someone who is abusing and misusing alcohol will likely be able to stop using and misusing alcohol. The defining characteristic of alcoholism is that there is no stopping for the alcoholic- they are not able to recognize their inability to manage and control their drinking.


Lakehouse Recovery Center offers a beautiful home on the serene Lake Sherwood where people can heal their mind, body, and spirit from alcoholism. Our goal is to arm clients with the tools they need for fully embracing life in recovery while having fun in the process. For information on our residential treatment programs, call us today: 877.762.3707


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