People in the U.S. Are Drinking More Alcohol Than Ever: Study

More Americans are drinking alcohol in general, a new study finds, but perhaps more alarming is that many more fall into the categories of high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorder (AUD). The increases were seen from the years 2001-2002 to 2012-2013 in a number of demographics. In fact, the greatest increases in alcohol use were women, minorities, older adults, and people of lower socioeconomic status. The authors point out that while the public conversation has largely been on opioids and pot in recent years, alcohol use and abuse have been quietly rising.

The new study, published this week in the JAMA Psychiatry, looked at data from almost 80,000 participants taking part in two large-scale studies in the U.S. Participants were interviewed face-to-face and asked about their daily drinking habits. The researchers were interested in their alcohol use over a 12-month period, high-risk drinking (four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on at least one day of the week), and AUD as defined by the DSM-IV, the “bible” of mental health disorders.

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