The AP (6/4, Tanner) reports, “Alcohol problems affect almost 33 million adults and most have never sought treatment,” according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Psychiatry. The research conducted by investigators at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also suggests that “rates have increased in recent years.” NIAAA director George Koob, PhD, “said it’s unclear why problem drinking has increased but that many people underestimate the dangers of excessive alcohol.” Koob also pointed out that effective behavioral treatments and medications exist to help people overcome problem drinking. He said, “There’s a lore that there’s only Alcoholics Anonymous out there and that’s not true.”
TIME (6/4, Sifferlin) reports that the study examined “the prevalence of drinking issues based on a new definition for alcohol use disorders in the” American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). That “definition classifies problem drinkers as those who have two of 11 symptoms including continuing to drink even if it harms relationships, drinking harming performance at work of school, or inability to quit,” with problem severity being “classified by the number of symptoms a person has.”
— “PROBLEM DRINKING AFFECTS 33 MILLION _ 14 PCT. OF US ADULTS,” Lindsay Tanner, Associated Press, June 3, 2015.