Top 10 Most Interesting Alcohol Abuse Statistics

  • Worldwide, approximately 3 million deaths annually are attributed to alcohol consumption. This figure represents 5.3% of all deaths, making alcohol one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.
  • 1 in 20 people suffers from an alcohol use disorder. This means that over 5% of the global population is affected by problematic alcohol consumption.
  • Alcohol abuse increases the risk of developing over 200 diseases and health conditions. Some of these include liver cirrhosis, cancers, and mental health disorders.
  • In the United States, alcohol-related liver disease ranks as the 12th leading cause of death. This statistic emphasizes the significant health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. An estimated 17.6 million people in the country suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • Underage drinking accounts for 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. This fact highlights the need for increased efforts to prevent underage alcohol use.
  • In 2019, 25.8% of American adults reported binge drinking within the past month. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages within a two-hour period for men, and four or more for women.
  • Alcohol abuse costs the United States over $249 billion annually. These costs stem from lost productivity, healthcare expenses, crime, and motor vehicle crashes.
  • In the United States, roughly 10% of children live with a parent who has alcohol problems. This statistic underscores the impact of alcohol abuse on families and communities.
  • Alcohol use is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Every year, alcohol-related deaths claim the lives of nearly 88,000 Americans.

How Many People Are Addicted to Alcohol?

  • Globally, it is estimated that 5.1% of the adult population suffers from alcohol use disorder (AUD), which translates to approximately 237 million men and 46 million women.
  • In the United States, about 14.1 million adults (5.6% of the population aged 18 and older) are diagnosed with AUD each year.
  • Among young people aged 12-17 in the United States, around 414,000 adolescents (1.7% of this age group) have an AUD diagnosis.
  • The prevalence of AUD is higher among men than women, with 8.9% of men and 4.7% of women in the United States meeting the criteria for alcohol addiction.
  • 7.2% of adults with this diagnosis seek help for their addiction.

Prevalence of Alcohol Abuse by Age Groups

  • Adolescents (12-17 years old): Approximately 4.5% of this age group experienced an alcohol use disorder in the United States in 2019.
  • Young adults (18-25 years old): In 2019, roughly 16.8% of young adults in the United States met the criteria for an alcohol use disorder.
  • Adults (26 years and older): The prevalence of alcohol use disorder among adults aged 26 years and older was estimated at around 6.3% in the United States in 2019.
  • Older adults (65 years and older): Although data is limited, studies suggest that approximately 3% of older adults have an alcohol use disorder, with higher rates found among men compared to women.

Most Common Causes of Alcohol Abuse?

  • Studies have shown that genetics can account for about 50% of the risk for developing an alcohol use disorder.
  • Growing up in a household with heavy alcohol use can increase the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder by up to four , compared to those without such exposure.
  • Research indicates that adolescents who associate with friends who drink are twice as likely to engage in problematic drinking behaviors themselves.
  • One study found that individuals with a major depressive disorder were 2.3 times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder.
  • Those who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop an addiction compared to those who begin at age 21 or later.
Alcohol Abuse Statistics [2023]: National + State Data - NCDAS

Global Impact of Alcohol Abuse

  • In 2016, alcohol consumption caused 2.8 million deaths worldwide.
  • Alcohol is responsible for 13.5% of all deaths among people aged 20-39 globally.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that 283 million people worldwide are dependent on alcohol.

Alcohol Consumption Patterns

  • In the United States, 55.3% of adults reported drinking alcohol within the past month in 2019.
  • Globally, the average alcohol consumption per person is 6.4 liters of pure alcohol annually.
  • Men are more likely than women to develop alcohol-related disorders, with 7.2% of men and 4.9% of women experiencing alcohol use disorder globally.

Alcohol Consumption by Industry Category

  • Hospitality and food service: In this industry, 11.8% of workers report heavy alcohol use.
  • Construction: Workers in the construction industry have a 16.5% prevalence rate of heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation: Employees in these sectors demonstrate a 12.9% rate of heavy drinking.
  • Mining and extraction: Among individuals working in mining and extraction industries, 17.5% engage in heavy alcohol use.
  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing: Workers in these fields show a 13.7% prevalence of heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Retail trade: Employees within the retail trade sector exhibit an 8.4% rate of heavy drinking.
  • Healthcare and social assistance: In healthcare and social assistance professions, 4.7% of workers report engaging in heavy alcohol use.
  • Education services: Among employees in education services, about 3.9% report heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Finance and insurance: Workers in the finance and insurance industries have a 5.4% prevalence rate of heavy drinking.
  • Manufacturing: Employees in manufacturing sectors demonstrate an 11.0% rate of heavy alcohol use.

Alcohol and Pregnancy in the United States

  • Prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy: Approximately 10% of pregnant women in the United States report consuming alcohol during their pregnancy.
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): It is estimated that 1.1% to 5.0% of children born in the United States are affected by FASD, a range of conditions caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: In the United States, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the most severe form of FASD, affects between 0.5 and 2 cases per 1,000 live births.
  • Binge drinking during pregnancy: About 3.1% of pregnant women in the United States engage in binge drinking (consuming four or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion).
One in 10 pregnant women in the United States reports drinking alcohol |  CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

Alcohol-Related Illness and Death

  • Liver cirrhosis: Alcohol is responsible for approximately 50% of all cirrhosis-related deaths, making it the leading cause of this life-threatening condition.
  • Cancer: Alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for various types of cancer, contributing to an estimated 5.8% of global cancer deaths.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: About 10% of heart disease-related deaths are attributed to alcohol consumption, with heavy drinking increasing the risk by up to 40%.
  • Mental health disorders: Individuals with alcohol use disorder are at a higher risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, with studies suggesting that up to 40% of those with AUD experience major depressive episodes.
  • Alcohol poisoning: In the United States alone, an average of six people die every day from alcohol poisoning, accounting for approximately 2,200 deaths annually.
  • Vehicle accidents: Roughly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States involve alcohol-impaired drivers, resulting in nearly 10,500 deaths each year.
  • Suicide: Alcohol abuse has been linked to an increased risk of suicide, with estimates suggesting that approximately 20%-30% of suicides involve individuals under the influence of alcohol at the time.
  • Alcohol-attributable deaths: Globally, alcohol consumption is responsible for around 3.3 million deaths per year, which is approximately 5.9% of all deaths worldwide.

The Rate of Alcohol Abuse Changed Over Time

  • 1960s: In the United States, per capita alcohol consumption increased by more than 50% between 1960 and 1980, reaching a peak of 2.76 gallons of ethanol per person per year in 1981.
  • 1980s: After reaching its peak in the early '80s, alcohol consumption began to decline, with a drop of nearly 20% by the end of the decade.
  • 1990s: Alcohol abuse rates remained relatively stable throughout the 1990s, with a slight downward trend in heavy drinking prevalence among adults.
  • 2000 - mid-2010s: Between 2002 and 2013, binge drinking rates among U.S. adults increased by approximately 8%, from 14.9% to 16.2%.
  • Mid-2010s onwards: Recent data suggests that alcohol consumption has been on the rise since the mid-2010s, with an increase in both binge drinking and heavy alcohol use among adults in various age groups.
The changing alcohol drinking patterns among older adults show that women  are closing the gender gap in more frequent drinking: the Tromsø study,  1994–2016 | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy | Full Text

Alcohol Abuse by State

  • California: In California, 6.1% of adults reported having an alcohol use disorder in 2019.
  • New York: New York state saw a prevalence rate of 5.7% for alcohol use disorder among adults in 2019.
  • Texas: In Texas, the percentage of adults experiencing alcohol use disorder was estimated at 6.0% in 2019.
  • Florida: Florida had a reported prevalence rate of 6.3% for alcohol use disorder among its adult population in 2019.
  • Illinois: In Illinois, approximately 5.4% of adults were found to have an alcohol use disorder in 2019.
  • Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania reported a prevalence rate of 5.9% for alcohol use disorder among adults in 2019.
  • Ohio: In Ohio, an estimated 6.5% of the adult population experienced an alcohol use disorder in 2019.
  • Georgia: Georgia had a reported prevalence rate of 5.1% for alcohol use disorder among its adult population in 2019.
  • North Carolina: In North Carolina, approximately 5.6% of adults were found to have an alcohol use disorder in 2019.
  • Michigan: Michigan saw a prevalence rate of 6.4% for alcohol use disorder among adults in 2019.

Alcohol Abuse by Country

  • Russia: In Russia, a staggering 20% of the population is estimated to suffer from alcohol use disorder.
  • Australia: Approximately 17.4% of Australians over the age of 14 have experienced an alcohol use disorder at some point in their lives.
  • United Kingdom: In the UK, around 16.5% of adults aged 16 and over exhibit signs of alcohol dependence.
  • Canada: In Canada, it is estimated that nearly 14% of the population suffers from alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • France: About 10.8% of French adults are considered to have an alcohol use disorder.
  • Germany: In Germany, approximately 7.3% of adults suffer from alcohol abuse or dependency(in German).
  • India: Around 5.2% of India's adult population experiences harmful or hazardous alcohol consumption patterns.
  • China: In China, an estimated 4.6% of adults are considered to have alcohol use disorder.
  • Japan: Approximately 3.6% of Japanese adults suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • Brazil: About 3.5% of Brazilian adults experience alcohol abuse or dependency.


What is considered heavy alcohol use?

Heavy alcohol use is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion, on five or more days within a month. This pattern of drinking significantly increases the risk of developing alcohol-related health problems.

How does alcohol consumption affect mental health?

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. It can also exacerbate existing mental health conditions and interfere with medications used to treat them.

What factors contribute to the development of alcohol use disorder (AUD)?

Several factors contribute to the development of AUD, including genetic predisposition, environmental influences, social pressures, and individual psychological factors such as stress or trauma.

What are some effective strategies for preventing alcohol abuse?

Effective prevention strategies include promoting awareness about the risks associated with excessive drinking, implementing policies that limit access to alcohol (e.g., increased taxes and restrictions on sales), providing resources for early intervention and treatment programs, and promoting healthy alternatives to cope with stress.

How does alcohol abuse impact society?

Alcohol abuse has significant societal consequences in terms of healthcare expenses, lost productivity due to absenteeism or disability, increased crime rates related to impaired judgment or aggression under the influence of alcohol, and strained relationships among family members and friends.

Are there any gender differences in rates of alcohol abuse?

Yes. In general, men are more likely than women to engage in heavy drinking and develop AUD. However, women tend to experience more severe health consequences from excessive alcohol consumption due to physiological differences.

Can someone recover from an alcohol use disorder?

Yes. With appropriate treatment and support systems in place such as therapy, counseling services or 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, many individuals can overcome AUD and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.


With these insightful statistics, we hope to have provided a comprehensive understanding of the dangers and impact of alcohol abuse. As a society, it's crucial to address these issues, support those in need of help, and raise awareness about the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.