Nearly one-third of Americans have experienced alcohol use disorder during their lifetimes, and more than one in 10 have experienced it within the previous year, according to research published online June 3.

Data from 36,309 adults who participated in the 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III showed that 12-month and lifetime prevalences of alcohol use were 13.9% and 29.1% respectively, with the incidence being higher among men, younger, white, and Native American respondents.

According to the paper, in JAMA Psychiatry, respondents with lower incomes were at the greatest risk of severe alcohol use disorder (AUD), and overall, 19.8% of respondents with lifetime alcohol use disorder had received treatment (JAMA Psychiatry 2015 June 3 [doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0584]).

“Most importantly, this study highlighted the urgency of educating the public and policy makers about AUD and its treatments, destigmatizing the disorder, and encouraging … those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment,” wrote Bridget F. Grant, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and her coauthors.

The study was supported by NIAAA, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. No conflicts of interest were declared.

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