Sarah Suzuki is an expert in the art and science of moderate drinking. Her work has been featured in the Good Men Project. She is the director of Chicago Compass Counseling, a group counseling practice dedicated to helping people in Chicago who struggle with the effects of alcohol abuse. As an individual counselor, she specializes in working with men who want to control their drinking. 

Surprising Facts about Alcohol Use in the United States

Surprising Facts about Alcohol Use in the United States

Abstinence and Binge-Drinking

Rehab Facts

  • The United States treats 1.3 million people for alcohol use disorders each year - more than any other country in the world.
  • 14 states require no license or education for substance abuse counselors beyond a GED. There is no mandatory national certification exam for addiction counselors.
  • Rehab costs range from $1000 to $1800 per day.
  • Research demonstrates that AA has a success rate ranging from 5 to 8%, although a systematic review of the evidence suggests an efficacy rate closer to 1%.
  • More than 90% of rehabs in the United States operate on the 12-step model of AA.
  • The most comprehensive review of alcoholism treatment available ranks AA 38th out of 48 treatment approaches for the treatment of problem drinking in terms of efficacy.
  • 95% of people who attend AA drop out within 12 months.
  • Less than 10% of Americans who are struggling with problem drinking and drug use receive any form of treatment. Those who do receive treatment typically go to rehab or AA.
  • 75% of problem drinkers moderate or eliminate alcohol use without any form of treatment (spontaneous remission). 

Demographics

  • People with high incomes drink more alcohol and smoke more marijuana than than those who are working class or poor. Wealthy, educated men drink more than others. 
  • Over 10% of children live with one parent who has an alcohol problem.
  • 20% of college students meet criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder.
  • The majority of Americans who die from alcohol poisoning are non-Hispanic whites between the ages of 35 and 65. Most of them are not chemically dependent on alcohol.
  • It is estimated that 10% of doctors struggle with alcohol or drug use in a way that impairs their clinical practice.
  • More than 15% of surgeons have an alcohol use disorder., 
  • 36% of doctors know a physician first-hand who is impaired by a Substance Use Disorder, yet take no action to address substance-related impairment (e.g. confronting the physician, enlisting help from colleagues, or reporting the physician to the licensing board).

Cost

  • Alcohol misuse costs the United States $249 billion per year, 75% of which can be attributed to the consequences of binge-drinking behavior.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, 2.5 million years of potential life were lost in the United States due to alcohol. 
How is Alcohol Use Disorder Diagnosed?

How is Alcohol Use Disorder Diagnosed?

The 5 Reasons You Drink Every Night

The 5 Reasons You Drink Every Night