You probably know that alcoholism is a serious problem in the United States, but there’s a good chance that you aren’t aware of how serious of a problem it’s become. Here’s what family practice doctors think you should know.
Alcoholism Is the Number One Drug Problem in the Nation
Alcoholism is the single biggest drug problem in the United States. Family practice physicians estimate that there are nearly 17 million adults in the U.S. who have a serious drinking problem, yet only 3 million ever go to family practice centers to seek help. To put this in perspective and give you a better idea of just how serious these numbers are, more than 10% of U.S. children live with a parent who has a drinking problem, and about 53% of adults in the U.S. know someone with a drinking problem. That’s how widespread the issue is.
Alcoholism Claims a Devastating Amount of Lives Each Year
According to family practice doctors with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths every year, making it the third most preventable cause of death in the United States. What’s more, about 5,000 of them are under the age of 21.
Alcoholism Also Has a Huge Economic Impact
There’s also a huge economic impact caused by alcoholism. Family practice doctors note that that excessive drinking in the United States adds an additional $35 billion to U.S. health care coverage each year.
If you know someone with a drinking problem, take them to family practice doctors, where they can get some help. These medical professionals will be able to help them detox their system, rehabilitate them, and help them stay sober. Although in many cases it is possible to quit drinking on your own, some alcoholics need the help of family practice doctors, as some symptoms may be so severe, such as seizures and delirium tremens, that they could die without medicine.
If you’d like to know more about how family practice doctors can help alcoholics recover, feel free to share whatever questions you may have in the comments.