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Millions of Americans who Abuse Alcohol Don’t Believe They Need Treatment

A new study shows that 98.8 percent of adults with alcohol abuse disorders don’t believe they need treatment. About 7.4 million American adults between the ages of 21 to 64 have untreated alcohol abuse disorders, and only 7.8 percent of adults with alcohol dependence recognize that they need addiction treatment.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the report in conjunction with National Alcohol Screening Day, and the findings are based on data from the 2006-2009 SAMHSA National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.

SAMHSA says these findings show that more needs to be done to increase public awareness about problem drinking, identifying symptoms of alcohol abuse, how to approach a problem drinker about the issue, and how to seek treatment.

The release explains that people with alcohol abuse disorders put themselves and often others in danger, can get in trouble with the law, and can have serious problems at work and in relationships. Alcohol dependence includes alcohol addiction, the inability to stop drinking, and serious problems with relationships and education and work.

SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release that the report provides evidence that millions of people are denying their problems with alcohol. She added that friends and family members need help to support their loved ones, because without treatment, alcoholism can be fatal.

She noted that Americans need to ask themselves why so many people are in denial and don’t think they need treatment, and why loved ones are so reluctant to intervene. National Screening Day is a time to recognize the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and dependence and to talk to friends and loved ones who may be denying their need for treatment.

Source: HealthDay, Only 1.2% of Alcohol Abusers Know They Need Help: Report, April 7, 2011

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