1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
Alcohol (Table 9.3)
The percentages of alcohol-related problems in the past year were considerably higher among heavy drinkers (defined as people who had five or more drinks per occasion on 5 or more days during the past 30 days). Specifically, nearly 70% of current heavy drinkers had one or more alcohol-related problems in the past year, more than half reported two or more problems, and one-third reported three or more problems.
Nearly 40% of youths and young adults who used alcohol in the past year experienced one or more alcohol-related problems, compared with 25% of adults aged 26 to 34 who used alcohol and about 17% of adults aged 35 or older. This general age pattern among past year alcohol users also held for reports of multiple alcohol-related problems. Among heavy drinkers, the age differences were not as drastic, but younger drinkers tended to report more problems than did older drinkers.
The three most commonly occurring alcohol-related problems in each drinking category (i.e., total population, past year alcohol users, and heavy drinkers) and within each age group were (a) development of tolerance to the effects of alcohol; (b) extended periods of time spent getting, using, or getting over the effects of alcohol; and (c) use of alcohol more often or in larger amounts than intended. In particular, nearly 20% of youths aged 12 to 17 who used alcohol in the past year indicated the occurrence of each of these three problems, and more than 60% of youths who were heavy alcohol drinkers reported the occurrence of these three problems.
This page was last updated on December 30, 2008.