Rising Alcoholism Rates Prove No Group is Immune from Addiction

Published on May 13, 2019

Canaan, CT – The stigma of addiction hurts some groups more than others. While problem drinking in America transcends racial and socioeconomic lines, communities of color increasingly struggle with alcoholism – and the sense of shame that often goes with it.

A 2017 study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that rates of high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders have soared among racial and ethnic minorities. The survey found that between 2001 and 2013, high-risk drinking increased by 40 percent among Hispanics and Native Americans, about 57 percent for Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 62 percent for African Americans.

One of the consequences of high-risking drinking – defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as four or more drinks a week for women and five or more drinks a week for men – is alcoholism. Indeed, the JAMA Psychiatry researchers reported that the prevalence of alcohol use disorders also rose among minorities during the study period. Notably, the incidence of alcoholism surged by approximately 52 percent for Hispanics, 78 percent for Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 93 percent for African Americans.