Worldwide Statistics on Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is one of the most widely consumed drugs in the world along with nicotine and is particularly prevalent in developed countries. Alcohol addiction is a major issue in many areas and remains one of the primary public health problems the modern world faces today. Not only are there health consequences in terms of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and liver damage, there are other issues surrounding the number of injuries and deaths that caused by alcohol related behaviour including drink driving. Mental health problems also add to the mix making it a complex area when helping people to manage their addiction.
In places like England, according to Alcohol Concern, over nine million people drink more than the recommended daily limit and alcohol related issues cost the NHS some £3.5 billion a year. Across the world, alcohol is the biggest cause of deaths due to drugs amongst teenagers and young people who drink are over 7 times more likely to go onto other substances such as marijuana, cocaine and amphetamine.
The International alcohol addiction statistics reveal:
- Across the world, 16% of people over the age of 15 who have drunk alcohol admitted to episodes of heavy drinking.
- Nearly 6% of all deaths globally can be attributed in some way to the consumption of alcohol with more men than women being affected.
- You are more likely to develop a problem with alcohol if you have familial influences, particularly if one or more parent drinks heavily as well.
- Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with various mental health issues including depression and anxiety disorders.
In the USA, according to Drug Free World:
- In a recent survey, 6.6% of the population who aged 12 and over admitted to drinking heavily in the previous month.
- 9 million US citizens received help for some kind of substance abuse. Of these, 2.5 million had a problem with alcohol specifically.
- With nearly 1.5 million arrests due to drink driving and nearly 13,000 drink related traffic deaths in 2007, the USA is one of the major areas of public health concern when it comes to drink.
In Europe, as in many Western countries, there are comparable alcohol related statistics:
- Although it is a much smaller country, England reported over 6,500 deaths due to alcohol in 2005 and the trend is on the increase.
- Estimates suggest that across the European Union some 23 million people have a problem with dependency on alcohol.
- Similar to the US, almost two fifths of violent crimes involve the use of alcohol and a similar figure is true for deaths caused due to vehicle accidents.
In Africa things are slightly different but there are growing concerns about the increased misuse of alcohol:
- Over 70% of Africans questioned said that they had not had a drink of alcohol in the previous 12 months, this in part due to religious differences such as a large Muslim population.
- The average consumption of alcohol in Africa is just over 6 litres per person per year, compared to over 12 litres per person per year in Europe.
- However, binge drinking, when Africans do drink, is higher than in most other parts of the world. There is a caveat to this, however, as WHO designate a period of binge drinking as having the equivalent of three pints of beer or more in one sitting.
Other areas of the world have their own profile for alcohol addiction:
- A study in 2013, showed that nearly over 1 million people in Japan have a problem with alcohol abuse and yet only 50,000 a year are seeking treatment.
- Alcohol consumption in India is increasing. Over the last twenty years the number of people who have had an alcoholic beverage has moved from 1 in 300 up to 1 in 20.
- Partly because of its recent economic growth, China is experiencing the fastest growth in alcohol consumption in the world, with a consequent increase in alcohol related problems.
Statistics in the UK for Alcohol
WHO: Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014