How big of a problem is alcoholism in America?

What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is defined as a dependence on drinking alcohol or abusive drinking patterns. Alcoholics experience withdrawal symptoms including head aches, nausea, vomiting, and possibly hallucinations in extreme cases. An alcoholic may be a person who drinks until they pass out each day, has the constant crave to drink, or experiences withdrawal the withdrawal symptoms.

North America demographics from 2013

16.6 million adults age 18 and up, are classified as alcoholics.

1.3 million adults received treatment.

697,000 adolescents age 12-17 are alcoholics.

New York State demographics from 2010.

1.77 million adults and 156,000 adolescents age 12-17 are alcoholics.


Therapy through Alcoholic´s Anonymous is a popular treatment for people who want to receive help and eventually quit.

Also certain medicine can help people quit. Disulfiram is a drug alcoholics can take that will train the body physically and mentally not to enjoy or want to drink. It causes nausea, vomiting, and head aches when alcohol is drank. These unpleasant experiences cause the person to not want to drink. Topiranate helps control impulsiveness, reducing the amount a person wants to drink.

Complications of Alcoholism

Heavy drinking can be associated with accidents, suicide and even murder. Domestic violence is also apparent in the homes of alcoholics.

Alcoholism can lead to liver disorders, gastrointestinal problems, certain types of cancers, effects on fetal development, and effects on weight and diabetes.

How to Detect the Signs of Alcoholism


Disulfiram- Synthetic compound used in the treatment of alcoholics to make drinking alcohol produce unpleasant effects.

Topiramate-Used to control compulsiveness.

Gastrointestinal- Relating to the stomach or intestines.