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Media Advisory: New Polling Data, Experts on Alcohol Use Disorder Available from American Psychiatric Association

  • December 06, 2023

WHAT: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) involves frequent or heavy alcohol drinking that becomes difficult to control and leads to problems in areas such as relationships, work, school, or family. It affects more than one in four people in their lifetime, and more than one in 10 each year. AUD is common and often goes untreated. Treatments for AUD include medication, therapies, and support/self-help groups.

With the celebratory season underway, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently commissioned a poll with Morning Consult on the issue. Among the top findings:

  • Most (59%) adults drink alcohol at least once a month. Adults who drink alcohol most commonly say they do so because it relaxes them (51%), they enjoy it in social settings (44%), and they like the taste (39%).
  • One in four American adults (26%) never drink alcohol.
  • Half (50%) of adults say they have been drinking about the same amount of alcohol over the past three years, while a third (34%) say they’ve been drinking less and nearly one-fifth (17%) say they have been drinking more.
  • Compared to three years ago, nearly half (46%) of adults say they feel less peer pressure to drink alcohol, while just one in 10 (11%) say they feel more peer pressure to drink. Young adults are more likely to report feeling more pressure.

When asked to rank, adults typically say AUD has more stigma associated with it than tobacco dependence and gambling addiction. However, opioid use disorder is three times more likely to have stigma associated with it compared to AUD (43% vs. 15%).

The poll was conducted online Sept. 23-24, 2023 among a sample of 2,227 adults.

WHO: Experts available on AUD include APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A.; APA Addiction Council Chair Smita Das, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and Jeremy Kidd, M.D.

See more on AUD, including symptoms and diagnosis information.

Access the full poll results and expert interviews by contacting [email protected].

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

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