According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, global alcohol abuse rates are down by 7.6 percent since 1990, however the United States has seen a 5.5 percent increase within that same period of time.
Research found that in the year 2013, 78.6 people worldwide were diagnosed with an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)- which is a higher figure than the population of over 200 countries, including the
United Kingdom. Out of those 78.6 million people, 5.1 million individuals were residents of the United States.
In addition to the 5.5 percent increase in alcohol abuse in the United States, the study discovered a greater percentage of Americans abused opioids and amphetamines as well over the past 25 years. As a result, opioid use disorders have increased by 5.7 percent in the United States, a little less than the 6.4 percent increase which has been reported globally. However, as amphetamine use disorders decreased by 4.1 percent worldwide, the United States saw a reported 3 percent increase.
Despite increases in alcohol, amphetamine, and opioid use disorders, cocaine and cannabis use disorders are down globally and in the United States. According to the study, cocaine use disorders decreased by 4.2 percent in the United States and a greater decline was seen globally, with a reported 5.9 percent decline.
Since 1990, cannabis use disorders are down by 6.5 percent globally and by .8 percent in the United States, these findings have been deemed statistically insignificant, according to the study’s results.
University of Washington professor and lead study author, Theo Vos shared with CNS News that the reported declines in substance abuse are modest and in addition little progress has been made to prevent alcohol and drug abuse in the U.S. and around the world. “At the global level the decline in alcohol use disorders is small, though ‘significant statistically. There is a small increase in opioid dependence. The changes in the other drug use disorders are smaller and not significant,” said Vos to CNS News.
Vos added he believes funding to help prevent substance abuse is “crowding out” research in other public health areas.