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How Cost and Availability Influence Alcohol Use

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in damage to health, relationships, and ability to work. Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Repeatedly neglecting responsibilities
  • Alcohol use in dangerous situations
  • Legal problems due to drinking
  • Continued drinking despite relationship problems
  • Drinking to relax

Not all alcohol abusers develop alcohol dependence or alcoholism. Sometimes alcoholism develops suddenly in response to a genetic predisposition from a family history of alcoholism or due to a stressful change such as a divorce or retirement. Other times, it gradually creeps up as tolerance to alcohol increases. Binge drinkers are at even higher risk of developing alcoholism.

Signs of alcoholism include the following:

  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal
  • Loss of Control
  • Inability to stop
  • Neglecting other activities
  • Devoting increasing amounts of time, energy, and focus to drinking
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences

Contrary to popular belief, individuals do not need to “hit bottom” before they get sober. In fact, people who seek assistance quickly ­– before physical and psychological dependence becomes too severe – benefit from improved chances of recovering and preventing relapse. It is never too early to ask for help.

Cost and Availability: Two Influencing Factors

Centers for Disease Control statistics show that higher alcohol prices results in the following outcomes:

  • Fewer motor vehicle crashes
  • Less impaired driving
  • Less violence
  • Fewer sexually transmitted diseases
  • Less alcohol dependence
  • Less all-cause mortality

Data about alcohol consumption among teens and young adults also reveals a strong link between price and consumption. Several facts include the following:

  • Increased price leads to lower consumption
  • Increased price leads to fewer reports of drunk driving incidents and violence
  • Lower price leads to more frequent and heavy consumption

Other statistics show that raising taxes on alcoholic beverages lowers the number of negative alcohol-related incidences among college students. For example, raising taxes on alcoholic drinks reduces campus crime in several ways, including the following:

  • Fewer reports of conflicts with the police and college authorities
  • Fewer reports of property damage
  • Fewer incidents of verbal or physical fights
  • Fewer reports of sexual misconduct
  • Less violence

Availability also significantly impacts alcohol use. For example, a high number of licensed liquor establishments in an area leads to the following outcomes:

  • Higher rates of consumption
  • A 15-16% difference in individuals’ positive attitudes towards drinking
  • An 11% increase in alcohol consumption
  • Higher rates of binge drinking among college students
  • Higher rates of underage drinking

Addiction to alcohol is a serious condition that requires treatment. Although relapse rates among alcoholics are high, many individuals who seek professional help from a recovery center are able to achieve lasting sobriety.

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction

You can recover from alcohol addiction. Admissions coordinators are available at our toll free, 24 hour helpline to guide you. Don’t go it alone when help is just one phone call away. Start your new life now.