By David Joel Miller.
How common is alcohol abuse? Morning Question #26
No, most people in America do not currently abuse alcohol! Half the adults in America did not have an alcoholic drink in the last 30 days. According to Kinney (Loosening the Grip, 2009), the top ten percent heaviest drinkers in America consume 60% of all the alcohol. Add in the next ten percent and the twenty percent heaviest drinkers consume 80% of all the liquor we drink here in America.
Now, most heavy drinkers (Alcoholics) believe that most people drink like they do. Truth is most people in America do not drink that much. A few do most of the drinking.
But the amount consumed does not tell the whole story. You can drink once a year and still have an alcohol problem. It is not what you drink or when you drink that defines an alcohol use disorder.
One client told me he only drinks once a year on New Years. But the last three years, when he drank he ended up getting DUI’s or was arrested for other alcohol-related problems. Clearly, he had a problem.
Much of the alcohol use disorders happen among the young. Most college students think everyone on campus drinks heavily and they are surprised to find out that most students do not drink alcoholically. As we age many people tend to cut back on their drinking, some stop altogether.
The worry is what negative consequences do they and others around them undergo before they learned to not abuse alcohol.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books