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STUDY: Most Heavy Drinkers (May) Not (Be) Alcoholics

STUDY: Most Heavy Drinkers (May) Not (Be) Alcoholics

Posted by Robert J. Ault on Nov 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

On November 21, 2014, a fellow member in the National College of DUI Defense posted a link to an article highlighting a study concluding that "Most Heavy Drinkers (Are) Not Alcoholics."  The article was written pursuant to a study conducted by the Center for Disease & Control & Prevention (CDC) titled, "Prevalence of Alcohol Dependence Among US Adult Drinkers (2009-2011).  From its inception, the study was designed to address the following:

"Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for 88,000 deaths annually and cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006. It is often assumed that most excessive drinkers are alcohol dependent. However, few studies have examined the prevalence of alcohol dependence among excessive drinkers. The objective of this study was to update prior estimates of the prevalence of alcohol dependence among US adult drinkers."

Thus, the following methods were used to assess such:

Data were analyzed from the 138,100 adults who responded to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009, 2010, or 2011. Drinking patterns (ie, past-year drinking, excessive drinking, and binge drinking) were assessed by sociodemographic characteristics and alcohol dependence (assessed through self-reported survey responses and defined as meeting ≥3 of 7 criteria for dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition).

While the results indicated the following:

Excessive drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol dependence were most common among men and those aged 18 to 24. Binge drinking was most common among those with annual family incomes of $75,000 or more, whereas alcohol dependence was most common among those with annual family incomes of less than $25,000. The prevalence of alcohol dependence was 10.2% among excessive drinkers, 10.5% among binge drinkers, and 1.3% among non-binge drinkers. A positive relationship was found between alcohol dependence and binge drinking frequency.

The Conclusion from the study was that:

Most excessive drinkers (90%) did not meet the criteria for alcohol dependence. A comprehensive approach to reducing excessive drinking that emphasizes evidence-based policy strategies and clinical preventive services could have an impact on reducing excessive drinking in addition to focusing on the implementation of addiction treatment services.

The article, posted in the New York Times along with the study itself can be viewed in the links below.  .

Alcohol addiction is undoubtedly a significant problem that a number of people face.  Such addiction results in death and serious injury to subjects on a daily basis.  While the large majority of people arrested for DUI in Washington State do not have issues with alcohol dependence, others obviously do. No Washington State DUI Defense Attorney is going to possess the medical background to assess whether one is alcohol dependent; or what the cause/remedy is in the future, the attorneys at Veitch Ault & Associates believe that it is important to atleast be cognizant of the opinions & studies being provided by others.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Washington State, contact Veitch Ault & Associates immediately (425-452-1600) to make sure one is given the best chance to defend themselves.

About the Author

Robert J. Ault

Rob's status as one of the premier DUI defense lawyers in the state includes being repeatedly recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star.


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