American Adults With An Alcohol Use Disorder

AUD_150x150A ‘Legal’ Problem

Alcohol, the most commonly used drug on the planet, is a legal mind altering substance that some 240 million people are dependent on worldwide, according to a report on worldwide addiction statistics. In the United States, new research indicates that 14 percent of American adults currently have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), Time reports. What’s worse, only a small percentage of those with AUDs has ever received treatment.

Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used by doctors to diagnose mental disorders. Health care professionals are currently using the DSM-5, which has a new definition for AUDs, according to the article. An AUD is defined as having two of 11 symptoms, the more symptoms a person has – the more severe their AUD. Symptoms include:

  • Continuing to drink even if it harms relationships.
  • Drinking that harms performance at work or school.
  • A person has an inability to quit drinking.

The Research

At the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), researchers interviewed more than 36,000 adults about their drinking patterns, the article reports. The researchers noted that alcohol use disorder rates have increased over the past decade. The research indicated that 30% had been a problem drinker at some point in their lives, and 14% currently had drinking problems. Unfortunately, the study showed that only 20 percent of those interviewed had sought treatment for their AUD. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.


“These findings underscore that alcohol problems are deeply entrenched and significantly under-treated in our society,” NIAAA Director George F. Koob, PhD, said in a news release. “The new data should provide further impetus for scientists, clinicians, and policy makers to bring AUD treatment into the mainstream of medical practice.”

If you are currently struggling with an alcohol use disorder please do not hesitate to contact Next Step Intervention. We can help you assess your options and help you find the road to recovery.

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