5 Facts about Substance Use Disorders, Alcoholism, and Alcohol Abuse You Probably Didn’t Know

Paul Marron
Paul Marron
April 10, 2019

To kick off National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2019, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), we have compiled 5 facts about substance use disorders, including alcoholism and alcohol abuse, that might surprise you.


1. Did you know

that according to the NIDA over half of the population age 18 or older use alcohol? Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. People who drink regularly enough to affect their family or work responsibilities are said to abuse alcohol.


2. Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse are not the same thing.

What makes alcoholism different from alcohol abuse? Alcoholism is a chronic disease. To be considered an alcoholic one usually:

a. Develops a tolerance to alcohol
b. Is unable to stop drinking
c. Experiences withdrawal when they try to stop drinking
d. And becomes physically dependent on alcohol


Alcohol abuse is when someone drinks regularly enough to affect their family or work responsibilities. Often referred to as “risky drinking”, alcohol abuse includes drinking in a way that endangers the drinker. Unlike alcoholism, the drinker does not have to be physically dependent on alcohol to abuse it.


3. Accidental substance use disorder is a thing.

What is an accidental substance use disorder? It’s when dependency emerges from the use of prescription drugs, often in combination with alcohol. The unintentional misuse of multiple medications, especially when combined with alcohol can lead to a substance use disorder. This phenomenon is common in older adults (60+), who use prescription drugs three times more often than the general population.


4. Talking to your kids about substance use disorders is a good thing.

Good communication between parents and children is the foundation of positive family relationships. Developing strong communication skills helps parents catch problems such as use of intoxicating substances drug and early. The best way to protect your children is to educate them.


5. Substance Use Disorders are equal opportunity diseases.

Anyone can be affected by a substance use disorder regardless of race, class, gender, and age.

Substance use disorders are a nationwide epidemic. You have the power to spread awareness and help educate the members of our community on the facts about substance use disorders.Join the conversation on social media by tweeting @Tully_Hill or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Linkedin. With your help, we can spread awareness and stop the damaging stigmas that prevent people who are suffering and their families from seeking help. To find out more about National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week search #NDAFW on social media or visit the NIH website https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a substance use disorder like alcoholism or drug abuse Tully Hill is here to help. Reach out to us at any time and our caring and friendly substance use disorder specialists will be happy to answer any of your questions, from what level of treatment is right for you and your family to whether or not your insurance plan offers treatment benefits.


What You Can Do Now

Because you may know or suspect a friend, coworker, or loved one has a substance use disorder, you want to help. But you may not know what to do next, or have questions about how to proceed.

Fill out this form and we’ll immediately send you easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on how to effectively deal with a friend, loved one, or coworker with a substance use disorder.

Paul Marron

Director of Business Development

Paul Marron, Director of Business Development, joined Tully Hill Chemical Dependency Treatment Center in July 2012. Mr. Marron graduated Magna Cum Laude from both Saint Bonaventure University with a BA, History/Pre-Law and Boston University with his MS, Public Relations. He worked most recently at Central New York Eye & Tissue Bank where he served as their Director of Business Development. He has extensive experience in healthcare administration, contracting, marketing and development in Central New York.