Nearly One Third Of Americans Have An Alcohol Problem In Their Lifetime, New Study

By enquirewithin · Jul 4, 2007 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    [h3]Nearly One Third Of Americans Have An Alcohol Problem In Their Lifetime, New Study[/h3] :beer

    Article Date: 03 Jul 2007 - 14:00 PDT


    A new US study estimates that about 30 per cent of Americans report having an alcohol disorder at some time in their lives. Over half (17.8 per cent) are due to alcohol abuse and the rest to alcohol dependence (12.5 per cent).

    The study is published in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

    Alcohol abuse and dependence often have serious consequences like car crashes, domestic violence and birth defects. They also have a negative impact on the economy and cause enormous distress and impairment said the researchers who are from Columbia University in New York, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    Dr Deborah Hasin, from the Columbia University Medical Center and her colleagues analyzed data from face to face interviews with a representative cross section of the American population that took place with over 43,000 adults in 2001 and 2002.

    The interviewers sought symptoms of alcohol abuse and dependence as defined in the Fourth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), a "gold standard" used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

    A diagnosis of alcohol abuse required one or more of the alcohol abuse criteria to be present and alcohol dependence required three or more of the seven criteria for dependence given in the manual.

    Diagnoses of other mental and psychiatric disorders were also conducted, such as for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, abuse and dependence on other substances.

    The results showed that:
    • 8.5 per cent of adults had an alcohol use disorder in the 12 months up to the survey.
    • This included 4.7 per cent with alcohol abuse and 3.8 per cent with alcohol dependence.
    • Alcohol dependence was more common among men, whites, Native Americans, younger unmarried adults and those on lower incomes.
    • Current alcohol abuse was more common among men, whites, and younger unmarried adults.
    • But lifetime rates of abuse were highest among middle aged Americans.
    • Alcohol abuse developed at an average age of 22.5, while alcohol dependence developed at an average age of 21.9.
    • Alcohol dependence was linked with disability and the levels of disability progressed steadily higher with increasing severity of dependence.
    • Of those who had alcohol dependence at some point in their lives, ony 24.1 per cent had ever been treated.
    • Of those who had alcohol dependence during the previous 12 months, only 12.1 per cent had been treated during the same period.
    • On average, patients received treatment 8 years after the age at which they developed the condition.
    • Treatment rates were slightly lower than those found 10 years earlier.
    The researchers said that:

    "On average, respondents with alcohol dependence manifested less disability than those with drug dependence and anxiety disorders, but their disability was comparable with that among respondents who had drug abuse, mood and personality disorders."

    They also found that alcohol abuse and dependence were linked quite significantly to use of other substances and their associated disorders but the link became weaker when they controlled for other conditions:

    "Significant associations between mood, anxiety and personality disorders and alcohol dependence were reduced in number and magnitude when controlling for other comorbidity," the researchers said.

    This suggests that there is a unique underlying factor that links alcohol and other substance abuse disorders but the link between alcohol abuse or dependence and disorders such as personality, anxiety and mood disorders might be due to factors in common between the alcohol problems and these psychiatric disorders.

    The authors concluded that:

    "Alcohol abuse and dependence remain highly prevalent and disabling."

    "Persistent low treatment rates given the availability of effective treatments indicate the need for vigorous education efforts for the public and professionals," they added.

    A"Prevalence, Correlates, Disability, and Comorbidity of DSM-IV Alcohol Abuse and Dependence in the United States: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions."
    Deborah S. Hasin, Frederick S. Stinson, Elizabeth Ogburn, and Bridget F. Grant.
    Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64:830-842.
    Vol. 64 No. 7, July 2007

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  1. tayo

    I'm not really surprised. Everything seems in order here.
    but cheers

    :beer :beer :beer :beer
    :beer :beer :beer :beer
    :beer :beer :beer :beer
  2. Heretic.Ape.
    alcohol abuse

    "A diagnosis of alcohol abuse required one or more of the alcohol abuse criteria to be present"

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual�IV (DSM-IV) defines abuse as:
    • A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
      1. recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household)
      2. recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)
      3. recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct)
      4. continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights)
    • The symptoms have never met the criteria for Substance Dependence for this class of substances.
    [DSM-IV, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ed. 4.

    Just one of those for abuse? At some point in life? Hmmm, the word college comes to mind.
  3. enquirewithin
    Kick back and destroy the ride: Alcohol-related violence

    Abuse? And the stuff can make you violent, too! I thought it was harmless.:confused:


    Kick back and destroy the ride: Alcohol-related violence and associations with drinking patterns and delinquency in adolescence

    Martin Stafstrom

    Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2007, 2:18 doi:10.1186/1747-597X-2-18

    Abstract (provisional)

    The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

    Aim: To assess how drinking patterns and delinquency are associated with self-reported experiences of alcohol-related violence in an adolescent population. Population and research design: Cross-sectional data were acquired from the Scania drug use survey 2005, consisting of 3847 students in 9th grade. Abstainers were omitted and 1873 responses analyzed, with binary and multi-variable logistic regression modeling. Results: All drinking pattern indicators were statistically significantly associated with alcohol-related violence, high usual volume of distilled spirits consumed (OR 2.2, CI 95 % 1.7-2.9) being the strongest.

    Delinquency had, when included in the analysis, a significant effect (OR 2.5, CI 95 % 1.8-3.6); however, the drinking pattern indicators also remained statistically significant. An analysis of the effect moderation between usual volume of distilled spirits consumed and delinquency showed that there was a synergetic effect between them (SI 1.6, CI 95 % 1.1-2.4).

    A separate analysis for non-delinquent students, those with little experience of delinquency, and those who engaged regularly in delinquent activities, showed that the effects of different drinking patterns, especially use of distilled spirits, were significant in both groups, however, differently distributed. Conclusion: The results show that alcohol consumption pattern, with usual volume of distilled spirits being the most prominent one, had an effect on alcohol-related violence, and that this effect was amplified by delinquent behavior. The analyses also showed that there are similarities, regarding risk factors for alcohol-related violence, between delinquent and non-delinquent youth.

    This, indicating that consumption pattern cannot be discarded as a key factor in alcohol-related violence in adolescence. Policy implications: The study shows that alcohol-related violence in adolescence is related to both alcohol consumption patterns, e.g. usual volume of distilled spirits consumed, and delinquency. In order to prevent the harm outcome, both phenomenons have to be targeted, either by alcohol or broader social policy initiatives
  4. EndThisDisgustingDystopia
    Re: Nearly One Third Of Americans Have An Alcohol Problem In Their Lifetime, New Stud

    I am not surprised that alcohol, society's most-accepted drug, is abused. When something is imagined to be safe, through international advertising, etc. (although it is obvious to some it's quite the opposite), I somehow expect for it to be a problem.
  5. Agent Subby
    Re: Nearly One Third Of Americans Have An Alcohol Problem In Their Lifetime, New Stud

    It is also a big problem in the UK. SWIM sometimes thinks that if this drug had just been discovered, would it be legalised? I think not!
  6. bcubed
    Re: Nearly One Third Of Americans Have An Alcohol Problem In Their Lifetime, New Stud

    I would question the validity of using the DSM-IV a a determining standard. MD's livelihoods are directly influenced by how many incidences of "pathology" can be discovered in the population; furthermore, there's essentially no extrnal checks or balances in place. Thus, it's not surprising to see ever-escalating numbers of "sick" people out there, especially when the illness in question is so open to subjective definition.

    Imagine if the American Bar Association wrote the laws. Think there'd be a pressing demand for lawyers?
  7. kaczynski
    Re: Nearly One Third Of Americans Have An Alcohol Problem In Their Lifetime, New Stud

    Exactly, if this were a new drug it would be the big story for all the shitty local news stations. Instead the general population has convinced itself that it's somehow different from other drugs because you don't smoke it, snort it, or shoot it.
  8. chl182
    Re: Nearly One Third Of Americans Have An Alcohol Problem In Their Lifetime, New Stud

    This and also the fact that this drug has caused the breakdowns of families, murder of another human, horrible accidents and many other despicable things should downright be the main reason it gets banned. After all, it's the same excuses they're using to ban other drugs too.
    In spongebob's opinion, "harmful" drugs like weed, lsd and sorts won't cause as much shit as alcohol.
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