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10 Countries With the Biggest Drinking Problems

Alcoholism is a long-term disease influenced by genes and lifestyle with predictable symptoms, and according to the World Health Organization, many of the world’s countries have a significant percentage of people with drinking problems.

In the U.S. alone, death from alcohol-related causes is the third leading preventable cause of death. In 2013, 24.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported engaging in binge drinking in the previous month. And in 2006, alcohol misuse problems cost the country $223.5 billion – almost three-quarters of which was reportedly related to binge drinking.

But compared to other countries, the U.S. doesn’t look so bad.

In a global roundup of countries with prevalence of alcohol use disorders conducted by the WHO in 2004 — the most recent year for which statistics are available  — the U.S. was ranked #48. Interestingly, Italy and Iran recorded the same percentage of males with alcohol abuse problems (0.5) even though alcohol is illegal in the latter. Three countries in the South Pacific — Samoa, the Marshall Islands, and Palau, report no alcohol abuse issues at all — which is curious because another South Pacific nation, tiny Niue, is in the top ten for abuse problems.

Here’s a roundup of the 10 countries with the highest prevalence of alcohol use disorders in adult males and females ages 15 and up, according to the WHO.

10. Colombia

In Colombia, 10.33 percent of adult males and 2.55 percent of adult females reported having an alcohol use disorder. The country also has the third-highest rate of females reporting having an alcohol use disorder — behind the Russian Federation and Australia. (Photo: Thinkstock)

9. Niue

Niue is an island nation in the South Pacific. According to the WHO, 10.58 percent of adult males reported having an alcohol use disorder, as well as 0.34 percent of adult females. (Photo: Thinkstock)

8. Estonia

This Northern European country has an 11.09 alcohol use disorder percentage rate in adult males and a 1.62 percentage rate in adult females. (Photo: Thinkstock)

7. Belarus

In Belarus, 11.43 percent of adult males reported having an alcohol use disorder, as well as 1.69 percent of adult females. (Photo: Thinkstock)

6. Latvia

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Latvia, situated between Estonia and Belarus, reports an 11.54 percentage rate of alcohol use disorders in adult males and a 1.67 rate in adult females. (Photo: Thinkstock)

5. Republic of Korea

 

The Republic of Korea, also known as South Korea, reports that 13.1 of adult males claimed an alcohol use disorder, as well as 0.41 percent of adult females. (Photo: Thinkstcok)

4. Lithuania

Lithuania neighbors Latvia and Belarus; it reports a 13.35 percentage rate of alcohol use disorders in adult males and a 1.98 percentage rate in adult females. One expert speculates that certain historical and societal factors affect the countries with the highest rates of alcohol consumption and that some don’t have many public awareness efforts about its effects. (Photo: Thinkstock)

3. Republic of Moldova

In the Republic of Moldova, an Eastern European country between Romaniaand Ukraine, 14.08 percent of adult males reported having an alcohol use disorder, as well as 2.15 percent of females. (Photo: Thinkstock)

2. Hungary

 

In Hungary, 15.29 percent of adult males reportedly have an alcohol use disorder, and so do 2.27 percent of adult females. (Photo: Thinkstock)

1. Russian Federation

The number-one country as far as alcohol use disorders go is the RussianFederation, where 16.29 of men report having an alcohol use disorder, as well as 2.58 percent of females. This country is also interestingly the one with the second-highest percentage of females with an alcohol use disorder, ranking only behind Australia. (Photo: Thinkstock)

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Written by PH

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