According to the recent results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH),1 more than 92% of adults aged 21 to 64 in the U.S. with alcohol problems—those that meet diagnostic criteria for either alcohol abuse disorder or alcohol dependence disorder2—do not see a need for treatment.3
Anyone who knows someone in trouble with alcohol or who has struggled with alcohol themself, knows all too well the challenges of admitting or accepting that there is a problem and it's time to get help. As a result, you may have heard or said any of the following:
"I don't need help, I can stop anytime I want to."
"It's not that bad, I don't drink everyday and I have a job."
"If you just got off my back, things wouldn't be so bad."
"My husband will never admit he has a problem or seek help."
"The cops in this town have always been out to get me."
"If you had a job like mine, you'd drink too!"
Perceived Need For Treatment:
Through the NSDUH survey, the following question, among many others, was asked of those persons with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence: "During the past 12 months, did you need treatment or counseling for your use of alcohol?"
Survey results for Alcohol Abuse: NO: 98.8% YES: 1.2%
Survey results for Alcohol Dependence: NO: 92.2% YES: 7.8%
The chart above graphically demonstrates the seriousness of this problem. Since alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease, getting help NOW and not waiting is important. Like other chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes, the sooner you seek help, the better the chances for recovery!
There are many pathways to getting help for anyone with an alcohol problem, or for someone living with another person's drinking problem, from self-help groups to inpatient treatment. But, it all starts by understanding the need to talk to someone.
Denial, lack of information or knowledge of where to get help. Contact NCADD:
Individuals and family members do not seek help for many different reasons. Regrettably, many seek help from helpers that are not "specifically trained" and "successfully experienced" in helping individuals and family members dealing with alcohol problems.
If you are concerned about your own alcohol and drug use or that of a family member or friend, NOW is the time to talk to someone who is "specifically trained" and "successfully experienced" in dealing with alcohol problems. Get Help. Contact NCADD, visit www.ncadd.org or call 800-NCA-CALL.
1Estimates based on the annual averages from the 2006 to 2009 NSDUH surveys.
2Dependence and abuse are based on definitions found in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
3Perceived need for alcohol treatment was defined as responding "Yes" to "During the past 12 months, did you need treatment or counseling for your use of alcohol?"
Source: The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collects data by asking questions to a representative sample of the population in face-to-face interviews at their homes.