The average American drinks 85 bottles of wine a year. While this is not the highest amount of yearly alcohol consumption in the world, Americans rank high on the list. The social acceptance of drinking is likely what has led to this excessive number and it is also what is leading alcohol to be the cause of tens of thousands of deaths around the world. A report released by The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development also showed that drinking among youth throughout the world has increased and so has the risky behavior associated with underage drinking.
“The cost to society and the economy of excessive alcohol consumption around the world is massive…Alcohol now accounts for a higher proportion of deaths worldwide than HIV, AIDS, violence and tuberculosis combined, ” explained Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development. Tax payers are also feeling the effects of the increase in alcohol consumption and health complications associated with alcohol abuse. World-wide, tax payers have had to fund legal, health and support for those suffering from alcohol addictions.
In addition to increased social acceptance of drinking, alcohol is also easier to purchase because it is in more locations and in general, alcohol is a cheaper way to celebrate and indulge. While other studies have shown that alcohol advertisements do not necessarily increase the amount of adult alcohol consumption, the study also points out that there are more alcohol advertisements, world-wide, than ever before.
Alcohol addiction is a very real problem in The United States and it is difficult to spot. Because many people drink on a daily or semi-regular basis and do not consider themselves alcoholics, it is much harder to spot alcoholic tendencies in others who may be sliding towards an addiction. One of the biggest problems associated with alcohol is binge drinking. Binge drinking, defined as multiple drinks in a short period of time, is one of the most common ways alcohol is abused. A person who engages in binge-drinking episodes is more likely to develop an alcohol addiction later in life. This is likely due to the fact that alcohol has already successfully been used as a distraction and a way to alleviate stress and anxiety.