A new substance abuse study shows that alcohol abuse disorder is more prevalent than previously believed, and 33% of Americans will struggle with this disorder at some point in their lives. The study was conducted using data and an analysis of information received during face to face interviews. More than 36,000 interviews were conducted in order to measure just how prevalent alcohol use disorder is in the general population. The study shows that this disorder is very prevalent, it is highly comorbid, and it is a disabling disorder that goes untreated in many cases in the United States. The study results were published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, and it measured the level of prevalence that alcohol use disorder had in the last 12 months and over the lifetime of the interview participant.
The authors of the alcohol use disorder and substance abuse study reported “Most importantly, this study highlighted the urgency of educating the public and policymakers about alcohol use disorder and its treatments, destigmatizing the disorder and encouraging among those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment.” The study showed that men had the highest rate of prevalence with AUD, at 17.6% in the last year and 36% during their lifetime. Native Americans also had higher than usual prevalence rates for AUD, at 19.2% for the previous month and 43.4% during their lifetime. White interview participants had a prevalence rate that was less, at 14% for the past 12 months and 32.6% over their lifetimes.