Alcoholism by Country 2022

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Alcoholism is a chronic, yet common medical disorder that afflicts millions of people all over the world. The term "alcoholism" is actually a mainstream expression used to describe a disease known medically as "alcohol use disorder." Alcohol use disorder is characterized by the abuse of and dependency on alcohol. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), a person may be diagnosed with alcohol dependency disorder if they exhibit any two of the following symptoms within a 12-month period:

Symptoms of alcohol dependency disorder (alcoholism)

In the past year, have you had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended? More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t? Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over other aftereffects? Wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else? Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems? Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends? Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink? Or:

  • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unprotected sex)?
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?

Alcohol dependency disorder has multiple levels of severity, which generally depend upon the number of symptoms expressed by a given patient: 2-3 is mild, 4-5 is moderate, and 6 or more is considered severe. Treatment for alcohol dependency disorder includes counseling, medications, and possibly medically assisted detoxification to help the individual safely stop drinking.

Alcohol dependency disorder by country

The frequency of alcoholism varies significantly from one nation to the next. While it might stand to reason that rates of alcoholism would correlate closely to overall alcohol consumption per country or possibly with drinking age by country, this is not necessarily the case. For example, although consumption varies by state, Americans on average consume 8.7 liters of pure alcohol per capita annually, the equivalent of imbibing 29.0 handles (1,716.8 fluid ounces/50.75 liters) of vodka per person per year. This means that the U.S., despite being 7th on the list of countries with the highest rates of alcoholism, is only 38th on the list of countries with the highest alcohol consumption per capita. The most recent data regarding alcoholism rates in each country was compiled by the World Health Organization, which recorded the percentage of males and females 15 years and above with alcohol use disorders in 2016.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Rates of Alcohol Use Disorder/Alcoholism (both genders):

  1. Hungary - 21.2%
  2. Russia - 20.9%
  3. Belarus - 18.8%
  4. Latvia - 15.5%
  5. South Korea - 13.9% (tie)
  6. Slovenia - 13.9% (tie)
  7. United States - 13.9% (tie)
  8. Poland - 12.8%
  9. Estonia - 12.2% (tie)
  10. Slovakia - 12.2% (tie)

Hungary has the highest prevalence of alcohol use disorders overall, with 21.2% of the total population afflicted. However, the per-gender numbers are even more informative, with 36.9% of men and 7.2% of females. This illustrates a common trend: Males tend to exceed females in both alcoholism and overall alcohol consumption by a wide margin. For example, the next two lists offer gender-specific top 10 rankings.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Rates of Alcohol Use Disorder/Alcoholism (females):

  1. United States - 10.4%
  2. Russia - 7.4%
  3. Sweden - 7.3%
  4. Hungary - 7.2%
  5. South Korea - 6.8%
  6. Belarus - 6.2%
  7. Austria - 6.1%
  8. United Kingdom - 4.7%
  9. Latvia - 4.6%
  10. Slovenia - 4.5%

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Rates of Alcohol Use Disorder/Alcoholism (males):

  1. Russia - 36.9%
  2. Hungary - 36.9%
  3. Belarus - 33.9%
  4. Latvia - 28.8%
  5. Slovenia - 23.5%
  6. Slovakia - 22.8%
  7. Poland - 22.7%
  8. Estonia - 22.2%
  9. South Korea - 21.2%
  10. Lithuania - 19.9%

Here are the 10 countries with the highest rates of alcoholism in males:

  1. Hungary - 36.90%
  2. Russia - 36.90%
  3. Belarus - 33.90%
  4. Latvia - 28.80%
  5. Slovenia - 23.50%
  6. Slovakia - 22.80%
  7. Poland - 22.70%
  8. Estonia - 22.20%
  9. South Korea - 21.20%
  10. Lithuania - 19.90%

Alcoholism by Country 2022


Alcoholism by Country 2022

Values shown are percentages of people aged 15+ with alcohol use disorder

Alcoholism by Country 2022