Alcohol addiction leads to devastating consequences, from health issues to problems at home and even to death. Unfortunately, alcohol addiction is a serious problem in the U.S. According to an infographic from the Delray Recovery Center, 16.9 million Americans reported binge drinking for five days or more. What’s even more alarming is that a good portion of those binge drinkers are teens and young adults under the age of 21. According to the Delray Recovery Center:
- Underage drinkers consume 19.7% of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.
- 31.5% of high school students admit to binge drinking at least once a month.
- 44% of college students are reported as binge drinkers while 6% are considered alcohol dependent.
The result (among both adult and underage drinkers)?
- 3 out of 10 adults report alcohol-related problems at home.
- 320,000 teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes, making up 9% of all deaths in that age group.
- 85,000 people died as a result of alcohol use in 2010, and 22,000 of those deaths were from alcohol-related diseases.
And if you read our blog regularly, you know that alcohol addiction and misuse has a significant impact on our roads and their users:
- 1 in 3 people will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash.
- The average drunk driver has driven while impaired over 80 times before a first arrest.
- Over 10,000 people die each year in drunk driving-related crashes.
Some of these drunk drivers are often sentenced to jail and a license suspension instead of getting the help they need to fight their addiction. Others avoid help, whether they feel ashamed or can’t afford it. In fact, the Delray Recovery Center reports that about 17 million people who need help for alcohol addiction didn’t receive treatment, and that number increases every year. In 2010 alone, 698,000 people felt that they needed alcohol addiction treatment but didn’t receive it. While 485,000 chose not to get treatment, 213,000 actually did make the effort but were unable to get treatment.
If you have an alcohol problem or addiction or know someone who does, please seek help. You can also help drunk drivers with alcohol addictions avoid repeat offenses and remain productive citizens while keeping others on the road safe while getting the treatment they need by encouraging your state representatives to pass a law requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install a breathalyzer in their vehicles.