A recent survey revealed that about 29.5 million Americans are drinking at a risky level. This prevalence was increased in almost all demographics, especially among women, older population, and ethnic minorities.
The surveys were conducted in 2001 and 2012 with a large sample size. The result was published in JAMA Psychiatry, a world famous academic journal.
International Business Times: Alcoholism epidemic in the USA: More than 1 in 8 Americans are now alcoholics
In the US, abuse of marijuana and other addictive drugs are also serious problems. Compared to them, the harm of alcohol is likely to be underestimated. But in the clinician's point of view, alcoholism is a critical issue as well as illegal drugs. Since drinking alcohol is legal, patients hardly identify themselves as an abuser unless the problem becomes fatal. Alcohol does damage to your liver, brain, and other organs more seriously than marijuana, according to some studies.
In the UK and Japan, the prevalence of drinkers is gradually decreasing. The market of alcoholic beverage is shrinking. What is the difference?
Considering that drinking is a leisure for poor people, alcohol consumption is increasing in the society where many unwealthy people live. As well, alcohol is a solution to kill time for people who have nothing to do. In Japan, soon after the earthquake and Tsunami disaster in 2011, alcoholism was spread in the damaged regions. Some people who lost their family, house, and job had no choice but drinking. Some of my colleagues went to the region for the enlightenment of harm of alcohol and social support for the victims.
The US is one of the nations in which inequality among people is most magnificent. Some people, especially in minorities, have no friends or supporters. They are at high risk of alcoholism.
Therefore, the solution should not be limited to the enhancement of medical care for alcoholism. Social setup and increased job opportunity are also crucial to prevent citizens from substance dependence.