Study shows alcohol use is on the rise

By Staff Writer

The number of individuals who consume alcohol in the U.S. is increasing due to social, economic and ethnic factors, according to a new study from researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The trend could lead to a rise in alcohol addiction and in the number of people who seek treatment from rehab facilities.

Investigators examined data from two previous surveys conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – one conducted in the early 1990s, the other in 2002. The results showed that the number of men and women who regularly drink alcohol is increasing.

“This suggests to us that a variety of public-health policies such as restrictions on alcohol advertising, regulating high-alcohol-content beverages, increasing taxes on alcohol, as well as treatment and brief interventions may be needed to reduce alcohol-related problems,” said Raul Caetano, who led the study.

He added that an influx of immigrant groups, an aging population and a decline in the mean income level are likely contributing to the rise in drinking.

Some groups, including Impact DWI, have called for higher alcohol taxes to help curb similar trends and decrease the number of individuals who require the treatment at rehab facilities.