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Americans Are Drinking More Alcohol

New research from The American Medical Association is pointing to an alarming trend. Apparently Americans’ consumption of alcohol is on the rise, particularly among women, the elderly and minorities.

The research also pointed to booming sales figures for the booze industry, which were way up over the past several years. And as far as weekly drinking goes, 72.7 percent of U.S. citizens now say that they regularly indulge (versus 65 percent a decade ago).

Keep in mind that those stats only account for “social drinkers.” There was also research conducted on people who were high risk alcoholics. That segment of America is up by 30 percent over the past 10 years.

The authors behind the study hope these figures will be used to educate lawmakers and health care professionals, bringing national attention to the over consumption of wine, beer and spirits.

“These findings really highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers, and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and alcohol abuse disorder,” the authors wrote. “It is important to destigmatize these conditions and encourage those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own to seek treatment.”

The researchers also made a point to call upon the rising sales figures within the alcohol industry. Contrary to popular belief, the price of booze has not shot up dramatically over the past 20 years. Yet within that same timeframe, spending has gone up by 56.6 percent. One telling stat there, was that the baby boomer generation was making most of these purchases; consuming way more than the younger millennial set.

“Our findings suggest that older Americans increased their alcohol spending dramatically, which resonates with growing public health concerns pertaining to Baby Boomers and booze,” the study authors added. “In a related finding, retired professionals spent 186% more money on alcohol. Conversely, those younger than 25 spent less in 2016 than in 1996, attesting to a trend in millennials choosing to live sober.”

And sadly, those increased revenues are leading beer and spirit brands to increase their advertising spends. Brands like Bud Light are budgeting out over $200 million a year on commercials and digital ads designed to entice drinkers. And Heineken isn’t too far behind, with an annual spend of $118 on promos and sponsorships.

We know firsthand just how dangerous alcoholism can be (especially with constant temptations in front of you). If you or someone you love is struggling with a drinking problem, know that help is always available and you are not alone.