Although some people can have an occasional drink without it becoming a problem, many people become dependent on alcohol, resulting in significant harm. Alcohol abuse can cause life-threatening medical problems, ruin personal relationships and make it difficult for people with alcohol use disorders to enjoy productive lives. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to stop drinking due to alcohol-related changes in the brain.
Alcohol use is extremely common in the United States, with nearly 70% of adults surveyed in the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reporting they’d consumed alcohol at least once during the previous year. Because alcohol is so readily available, binge drinking is also a serious concern. Nearly 26% of adults reported that they had engaged in binge drinking within 30 days of participating in the survey.