Some 12.7 percent of the population – or about one out of every eight Americans – has an alcohol use disorder, according to a survey published in JAMA Psychiatry.
The study surveyed about 80,000 people and compared the results to a similar survey from a decade ago. It found that the percentage of people who had an alcohol use disorder (as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) had jumped by a shocking 50% in the last 10 years.
The greatest increases were among women, the elderly, and ethnic minorities, as well as people with lower incomes and less education.
The study also found about a 30 percent increase in “high-risk drinking” over the last decade, defined as consuming five or more drinks for men (or four or more for women) at a time and doing so on a weekly basis.
The results point to “a public health crisis,” according to the study authors.