As the nation battles with an increasingly deadly opioid epidemic, alcoholism has also continued to grow in recent years. According a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 12.7 percent of the U.S. population now meets the criteria for alcohol use disorder. This comes after the rate of alcohol use disorder spiked 49 percent in the first decade of the 21st century. There are more alcoholics in America than ever before.
Data from the study was derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which is administered by the National Institutes of Health. The criteria for diagnosis of alcoholism was based on recurrent alcohol use, the inability to handle responsibilities, legal problems, the need for increasingly more alcohol to achieve intoxication and an inability to cut down usage, among several other factors.
The study also uncovered a stunning trend that nearly 25 percent of Americans under age 30 met the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism. The lead author of the study attributed the rise in alcoholism to increased stress.