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Alcoholism Quick Facts

  • Today alcohol is involved in 40% of traffic deaths. Among persons aged 16 to 20, the percentage is 36.1

  • NIH studies revealed that young people who began drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence during their lifetime than those who began drinking at age 21 or later.2

  • About a third of U.S. women drink alcohol. Of these women who drink, only one out of ten averages two or more drinks a day. An estimated four million women in the United States drink in a way that threatens their health, safety, and general well-being.3

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is the leading known preventable cause of mental retardation and birth defects.  FASD affects one in 100 live births or as many as 40,000 infants each year. Children do not outgrow FASD. The physical and behavioral problems can last for a lifetime.4

  • The economic costs of alcohol abuse and dependence were $184.6 billion for 1998 (the last year for which figures are available), or roughly $638 for every man, woman, and child living in the United States.1




From The 12-Month Prevalence and Trends in DSM–IV Alcohol Abuse and Dependence United States, 1991–1992 and 2001–2002
From Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths Fact Sheet
Alcohol: A Women's Health Issue
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) 

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