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Heavy Drinker Study Says Only 1 in 10 Are Alcohol Dependent

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By    |   Friday, 21 Nov 2014 05:17 PM

Only one out of 10 heavy drinkers is an alcoholic or alcohol dependent, a new study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

The study, done with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, looked at excessive drinkers, defining that as binge drinkers (four to five or more drinks on occasion) and those women who consume eight or more drinks a week and men who consume 15 or more drinks a week, as well as any pregnant women who use alcohol and under-age drinkers.

“This study shows that, contrary to popular opinion, most people who drink too much are not alcohol dependent or alcoholics,” said Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., Alcohol Program Lead at CDC and one of the report’s authors, in a news release. “It also emphasizes the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to reducing excessive drinking that includes evidence-based community strategies, screening and counseling in healthcare settings, and high-quality substance abuse treatment for those who need it.”

The study found that about one in three adults is an excessive drinker, the CDC release said, and many binge drink. But one in 30 adults is considered alcohol dependent.

“Alcohol dependence is a chronic medical condition that typically includes a current or past history of excessive drinking, a strong craving for alcohol, continued use despite repeated problems with drinking, and an inability to control alcohol consumption,” the release said.

The study has an impact on treatment, and the release said that dependent excessive drinkers will often need specialized or more intensive treatment to change behaviors. But excessive drinkers who aren’t dependent can be affected by “state and local interventions that increase the price and limit the availability of alcohol.”

“I don’t want to minimize the fact that excessive drinking can be a difficult behavior to change even in those people who are not alcohol dependent,’’ Brewer told The New York Times. “So many of the cues people get about drinking behavior in our society are confusing. People think drinking to get drunk is part of having a good time.”

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Only one out of 10 heavy drinkers is an alcoholic or alcohol dependent, a new study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
heavy, drinker, study, alcholic
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2014-17-21
Friday, 21 Nov 2014 05:17 PM
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