Holidays Create Challenges for Those Living With Addiction | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
TTUHSC students walking through Lubbock campus courtyard.

Alcohol Causes More Harm Than All Other Drugs Combined


The holidays are a time when we gather with family and friends to decorate the house, exchange gifts and enjoy special foods and drinks that help to define the season. However, for someone with an addiction such as alcohol use disorder (AUD), the holidays also may be a time of heightened temptation and opportunity.

Nearly 21 million Americans admit to at least one addiction, and according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5 million people 12 years of age and older battle alcohol use disorder. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates the annual economic impact of alcohol use disorder to be $250 billion. In fact, alcohol-related issues create more costs per capita than do all other drugs combined.

Susan Bergeson, Ph.D., a University Distinguished Professor for the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine, said that while the addiction spotlight has turned toward the opioid epidemic, which has shown a five-fold increase in in recent years, more people continue to die annually from alcohol use disorder. 




  • Susan Bergeson in lab
  • Susan Bergeson with students in lab

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