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Drinking Problem Plagues 30% Americans

A new US study estimates that about 30 per cent of Americans report have some alcohol disorder at some point of time in their lives. Over half (17.8 per cent) are due to alcohol abuse and the rest to alcohol dependence (12.5 per cent). It means that 1 out 3 persons in the US have a real problem with the bottle.

But the nature of this problem can vary widely -- from a sustained streak of binge drinking behavior all the way to serious physiological addiction to alcohol.

Columbia University Medical Centre analyzed a survey of 43,093 people done in 2001 and 2002. Dr Deborah Hasin, from the Columbia University Medical Center and her colleagues analyzed the data from face to face interviews with a representative cross section of the American population.The survey results published in the current issue of the Archives of general Psychiatry indicate many of those persons never received treatment.

People aged 30 to 44 showed the highest rate of abuse, and men were more than twice as likely as women to report struggling with a drinking problem.

People with alcohol use disorder (AUD) only 24.1 percent of people with alcohol dependence received treatment of any type. Alcohol dependence, also know as alcoholism, is characterized by impaired control over drinking, compulsive drinking, preoccupation with drinking, tolerance to alcohol and/or withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol abuse was defined as drinking tied to domestic violence, car crashes and fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol abuse is also characterized by failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home; interpersonal, social and legal problems; and/or drinking in hazardous situations.

They also have a negative impact on the economy and cause enormous distress and impairment said the researchers who are from Columbia University in New York, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
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