glass with alcohol.

Alcoholism in the US: How Many Americans are Alcoholics?

ADetermining the exact current drinking statistics in the United States may be challenging due to many reasons. The distinctive American alcoholic may be categorized in a range of levels from mild to moderate and, in extreme cases, severe. Those with dependencies to alcohol are diagnosed as having an alcohol use disorder, and this condition is specific for individuals who are identified to be dependent on alcohol or practice abuse of the substance. 

Typically, moderate drinking is pegged at a drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Five drinks on the same day at different days of the month are considered binge or heavy drinking. The current alcohol consumption in the United States is at an all-time high. Let’s look at how many Americans are alcoholics.

Binge and Heavy Drinking Problems in the US

Alcoholism in the US has become an expensive and dangerous pattern, as many cases of crimes committed are often traced back to alcoholism. The most current alcohol abuse statistics depict just how critical consumption is in the US. Alcoholism statistics show that one in every six adults in the US indulges in binge drinking at least four times a month. The consumption rate is at least seven drinks per seating. As a result, adult drinkers may consume 467 drinks annually. 

Alcohol statistics reveal that heavy drinking is most popular with adults aged 18-34; however, about half of the total number of binge drinkers are aged 35 and above. 

CDC studies have shown that the percentage of alcoholics in the USA has contributed negatively to the economy, with a total liability cost of $249 billion in 2010. The USA stands as one of the highest alcoholism rates by country. The prevalence of heavy drinking in the US is as follows:

  • Alcohol binge drinking is most common with Hispanic whites, college degree holders, and families with an annual income of $75,000 and above
  • 5.8% of individuals within the age range of 18 and above have had an alcohol use disorder. This alcohol addiction statistics include 5.3 million females, and 9.2 million, males
  • Only an estimate of about 6.7% with drinking problems sort professional treatment for alcohol use disorder and rehabilitation
  • 1.6% of adolescents in the US were diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder
  • American Indians, families with less than $25,000 annual income, and those with lower than a high school certificate were found to use alcohol excessively 

Alcoholism High-Risk Groups

Reports on how many alcoholics in the US have revealed that certain groups of people are more prone to developing an alcohol use disorder than others. The reason for the risk may differ from one group or individual to the other. These groups include:


Statistically, men are more disposed to alcohol dependency than women. This tendency is higher at the stage of youth.

Abused Children

Children who grow up as alcohol addicts often have a family history of abuse, abandonment, divorce, domestic violence, and other forms of physical and psychological abuse. 


 Due to the social stigma, ostracism, and bullying, many members of the LGBTQ community fight depression, anxiety, and trauma through alcoholism, drug abuse, and other vices. 

College Students

Traditional campus norms, as well as social activities, are major reasons why many students may find themselves participating in more drinking than usual. In many cases, the development of alcohol use disorder is often caused by peer pressure.

Latinos, and American Indians

Both communities are riddled with cases of incessant alcohol use disorder due to cultural beliefs and way of life. The idea of seeking professional help for alcoholism makes the individual seem weak.

Mental Illness

Individuals with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and others are the most vulnerable to alcohol abuse and illicit drug use.

Consequences Of Alcoholism Among Americans

What are the problems associated with alcoholism? How many people die from alcohol a year? The CDC has recorded at least 2,200 deaths from alcohol poisoning yearly in the US. Alcohol-related deaths in the US have become a cause for concern as the frequencies of DUI car crashes increase significantly annually. Other consequences of alcoholism in the US include:

  • Fetal alcohol disorder in pregnant women
  • Memory problems
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Violence, sexual assaults, and crime
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Cancer of the liver, throat, colon, and esophagus
  • Infant death syndrome
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart diseases

The US Preventive Service Task Force, in collaboration with other authorities, has organized interventions and targeted strategies to alleviate the effects and occurrence of alcoholism in the future.

Identify If You Have An Alcohol Use Disorder