Since the early 2000s, researchers estimate the number of American adults with alcohol use disorder jumped 49 percent. That means 1 in 8 American adults could be classified as a person with alcoholism. In certain groups, the trend was even more pronounced. The American Medical Association found the rate of alcoholic disorders rose by nearly 84 percent among women and 93 percent among black people.
Question Have the 12-month prevalences of alcohol use, high-risk drinking, and DSM-IV alcohol use disorder increased between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013?
Findings In this study of data from face-to-face interviews conducted in 2 nationally representative surveys of US adults, including the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n = 43 093) and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III (n = 36 309), 12-month alcohol use (11.2%), high-risk drinking (29.9%), and DSM-IV alcohol use disorder (49.4%) increased for the total US population and, with few exceptions, across sociodemographic subgroups.
Meaning Substantial increases in alcohol use, high-risk drinking, and DSM-IV alcohol use disorder constitute a public health crisis and portend increases in chronic disease comorbidities in the United States, especially among women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.