6 on Health: Researchers say alcohol use disorder is a public health crisis
An estimated one out of every eight Americans struggle with an alcohol use disorder, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.
The study tracked drinking patterns among 40,000 people from 2002 and 2003 and then again from 2012 to 2013.
Alcohol use disorder affected a projected 8.5 percent of the population during the first research period.
It rose to 12.7 seven percent during the second period, which is almost a 50 percent increase.
The study relied on rigorously-controlled self-reporting of drinking habits.
While there was no clear reason for the rise, researchers claim it constitutes a "public health crisis" on par with the current national opioid crisis.