68.9 percent of Americans enjoy at least one alcoholic beverage per year, a study released last month finds. The United States also has a larger population with a drinking problem than almost every other nation worldwide.
According to The Global Statistics on Addictive Behaviours: 2014 Status Report, led by researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia, eight percent of Americans have a drinking problem, compared to 4.9 percent of the world’s population.
The U.S. has a population with more alcohol problems per capita than any other nation in the world except for the United Kingdom, where 12 percent suffer from alcohol abuse.
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The study also revealed that 257 disability-adjusted life years per 100,000 globally were lost by people who consumed alcohol. “Alcoholism is associated with a range of health issues and takes years off someone’s life,” said the study’s lead author, Linda Gowing.
Since 1998, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration cautioned that both alcohol and prescription drug abuse among adults 60 and older were the fastest growing health problems in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.
“It’s definitely an area in need of more understanding,” said Dr. Alison Moore of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. U.S. News explains the issue further:
Adding to the need for urgency is that a flood of baby boomers – who tend to drink more than their older predecessors, Moore says – has been turning 65 since 2011, and the 65-and-older population is projected to number 83 million by 2050.
By 2020, according to a 2008 study, those boomers also will have helped to double the number of adults 50 or older with a substance abuse disorder, from 2.8 million in 2006 to 5.7 million.
h/t: The Daily Mail
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