(CNN) - An estimated one out of every eight Americans struggles with an alcohol disorder. That's according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.
It tracked drinking patterns among 40,000 people between the years of 2002 and 2003, and then again from 2012 to 2013. Alcohol use disorders affected a projected 8.5 percent of the population during the first research period.
It rose to 12.7 percent during the second, almost a 50 percent increase. The study relied on rigorously controlled self reporting of drinking habits.
While there was no clear reason for the rise, researchers claim it constitutes a "public health crisis" on par with the current national opioid crisis.
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