Experts are becoming increasingly concerned over changing trends in alcohol use and abuse, with researchers finding that there has been an uptick in a variety of drinking behaviors, including “high-risk” alcohol consumption.
The Huffington Post has more about recent expert analysis that sheds light on the issue:
Research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry … earlier this month examined and compared two large studies where American adults self-reported their drinking behaviors. One study, conducted from 2001 to 2002, contained more than 40,000 survey responses while the second study of more than 35,000 responses, was conducted from 2012 to 2013.
Overall, Americans who reported they drank at least once in a year-long period increased by 11 percent. High-risk drinking, meaning drinking four or more beverages per day at least once a week for women and five or more for men, increased by 30 percent. Alcohol use disorders, which is where individuals’ drinking interferes with their everyday lives and they find it difficult to stop, increased by almost 50 percent.
The report, which is titled, “Prevalence of 12-Month Alcohol Use, High-Risk Drinking, and DSM-IV Alcohol Use Disorder in the United States,” warns that a lack of comprehensive research into alcohol usage creates “a major gap in public health information.”
Researchers relied on data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III, coming to some stunning findings.
The greatest increases between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013 unfolded among women, older adults, minorities and those with low income and education levels.
“Increases in alcohol use, high-risk drinking, and DSM-IV AUD in the US population and among subgroups, especially women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged, constitute a public health crisis,” the study’s conclusion reads. “Taken together, these findings portend increases in many chronic comorbidities in which alcohol use has a substantial role.”
As HuffPo noted, high-risk alcohol consumption increased by 60 percent among women and alcohol use disorder was up by 84 percent among that population. For Americans aged 65 and older, those proportions were 65 percent and 107 percent, respectively.
Read more about the results, potential causes of the increases and more here.