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5 Shocking Statistics for Alcohol Awareness Month

Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has recognized April as Alcohol Awareness Month. The goal is to increase public awareness and understanding of alcoholism while encouraging local communities to address the issues associated with it. This year’s theme is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow,” with NCADD affiliates sponsoring events at the local, state and national levels to educate people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism.

The Alcohol Awareness Month for 2014 is specifically targeting alcohol use by young people and underage drinking overall. Alcohol has become the top drug of choice for youth in America and results in more deaths than all illegal drugs combined. More than 1,700 college students are killed each year as a result of alcohol-related injuries and accidents, while underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually. Approximately 7,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 16 take their first drink every day, which is a major problem because those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.

“Underage drinking is a complex issue, one that can only be solved through a sustained and cooperative effort,” said Greg Muth, chairperson of the NCADD Board of Directors. “As a nation, we need to wake up to the reality that for some, alcoholism and addiction develop at a young age and that intervention, treatment and recovery support are essential for them and their families. We can’t afford to wait any longer.”

In honor of Alcohol Awareness month, here are five other shocking facts about the effects of alcohol use on society.

  • Over 1.4 million DUI arrests were made in the U.S. in 2010.
  • Alcohol related crashes that same year resulted in 13,365 deaths and cost Americans an estimated $37 billion.
  • An estimated 112 million episodes of drunk driving take place each year, with four million adults reporting driving under the influence at least once in 2010.
  • Alcohol sales in the U.S. total about $90 billion each year.
  • Harmful alcohol use results in the death of 2.5 million people worldwide annually, while causing illness and injury to millions more.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, consider looking for alcohol abuse treatment options in your area.