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Socio-Sexual Issues in the Using and Recovering Alcoholic

The disease of alcoholism is the third leading killer in the United States and represents one of our country's major health problems. Over 13 million individuals in the United States are alcoholics, representing approximately 7% of the adult population. It has been estimated that alcoholism costs the country over 40 billion dollars in terms of health care costs, lost producti v ity, accidents, crime, and is a major contributor to over half the fatal auto accidents in the United States. Each year, approximately 25,000 individuals die and 1.5 million people are injured by drunk drivers. To be more specific, over 60% of the homicides involve alcohol in both the offender and victim. Sixty-five percent of aggressive sexual acts against children and 39% of aggressive sexual acts against women involve alcohol by the offender. Alcohol abuse also represents the number one substance abuse problem in adolescents. Over 85% of all 10th to 12th graders have at some time or another consumed the psychoactive drug, alcohol. Fifteen percent of 10th to 12th graders report heavy drinking, and in high school students 36% of the regular drinkers have had two or more accidental injuries serious enough to interfere with their daily activities. Auto accidents and suicides are two of the leading causes of death in the adolescent population, and both are deeply involved with alcohol and other psychoactive drugs.