A new study has recently been published in JAMA Psychiatry has revealed that an incredible 30% of American adults have suffered from an Alcohol Abuse Disorder (AUD) at some point in their lifetime. This is the highest number of individuals suffering from AUD’s in the last decade. Despite this huge figure, only a small percentage of those individuals have chosen to seek professional treatment or support for their condition.
The study was conducted by asking more than 36,000 about their alcohol drinking habits in a variety of different settings: this included in face to face interviews and via randomly assigned questionnaires. All of the demographics of American society were included in the study, in order to assure it was as representative as possible. The findings found that about 14% of adults met AUD criteria during the previous 12 months, while a larger figure of 29% had met the AUD criteria at some time in their lives. Lifetime prevalence of alcohol misuse are on the rise, and whilst the way individuals use alcohol may surge and wane, at some point those surges would give way to an Alcohol Use Disorder that was likely to require treatment.
The findings on the amount of Alcohol Use Disorder amongst young people are particularly shocking. 7% of 18-29 year olds meet the criteria for having a severe Alcohol Use Disorder whilst 27% currently had some kind of Alcohol Use Disorder of varying severities. This indicates that there is currently an urgent need for increased alcohol use support amongst young adults.