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Alcohol & Drug Treatment in WA

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Alcohol Use Trends by Age

Alcohol use is one of the most common high-risk activities in the United States. Alcohol consumption varies depending upon the age of the drinker according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and although it has declined over the past several years, it still continues to be a widespread battle.

Alcohol Trends Among Teens

According to NIDA, in 2010 close to three quarters of all high school students in the United States tried alcohol and participated in binge drinking. More than a third of all middle school students tried alcohol. Caucasian male teenagers tended to participate the most in alcohol consumption, while Asian teens participated the least. Most underage drinking took place away from the teenager's home. However, at least 21% of the teenagers were given alcohol by a parent or relative. Reports indicated that alcohol was typically purchased by teenagers themselves, or by a friend old enough to purchase alcohol for them.

Teenagers tend to drive more than any other age group when drinking, resulting in thousands of traffic-related fatalities and injuries in the United States each year. A reported 5.8% of teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17 and 15.1% of teenagers between the ages of 18 and 20 drive while under the influence of alcohol. The report, performed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, indicated that drinking and driving lessens with age, with the biggest decline happening after the age of 25.

Alcohol Trends Among Adults

According to a survey conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, males aged 21 and over are twice as likely to participate in alcohol consumption as females. White males tend to drink more than anyone else in this age group, while Asians scored the lowest. Close to 67% of adults in the United States consume alcohol, and over 14 million adults in the United States alone have been reported to either drink heavily and/or have an alcohol dependence problem. 72% of adults between 21 and 54 years of age have been reported to use alcohol occasionally. Beer is the leading choice of alcohol for adult drinkers of all ages, followed by wine and liquor.

Drinking among younger-aged adults is the lowest in the southern United States, at 47.5%. Drinking among young adults in the Midwest at 54.7%, and northeastern United States has the highest number of young adults who participate in alcohol consumption at 57.8%.

Alcohol Trends Among Older Adults

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), at least 2.5 million adults ages 65 and older drink alcohol. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that these older adults typically have alcohol-related problems and dependence, and more than half have been hospitalized due to alcohol. In addition, the U.S. Bureau and Census suggests that the 65 and older age group will be the fastest growing age group to suffer from alcohol dependence and issues within the next 25 years. White males in this age group tend to drink more than anyone else, followed by white females. Most drinkers in this age group prefer to drink at home, and tend to binge drink more often than younger adults, consuming close to 40 drinks per week as opposed to 25 drinks per week consumed by younger people.

- http://nihseniorhealth.gov/alcoholuse/alcoholandaging/01.html
- http://www.kap.samhsa.gov/products/brochures/pdfs/Pocket_2.pdf
- http://sadd.org/stats.htm
- http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120124831.htm
- http://monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/vol1_2009.pdf
- http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/WebOnly.htm#NSDUHtabs


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