While the U.S. turns its focus to the opioid epidemic, the rise of alcoholism among adults is getting swept under the rug. The numbers are staggering — one in eight U.S. adults are alcoholics.

The alarming statistic comes from a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry. The study took a look at data from two national surveys of U.S. adults. The first set of data was collected from April 2001 to June 2002, and involved 43,093 participants. The second set of data was collected from April 2012 to June 2013, and involved 36,309 participants. The changes seen during those two,12-month periods in Americans' drinking habits has many experts concerned, according to an article published about the study in The Huffington Post.

Not only did the researchers find that one in eight Americans are considered alcoholics, but the number of people engaging in high-risk drinking increased by nearly 16 percent in men and almost 58 percent in women. For women, high-risk drinking is consuming at least four alcoholic beverages per day, once a week. For men, it's five.

And if those numbers weren't already troubling enough, the researchers found that alcohol use disorder is up nearly 35 percent in men and 84 percent in women, when comparing the two,12-month periods.

So what's to blame for these huge increases in alcohol consumption, especially in women? While the study didn't take a look at why this is happening, some experts suggest that it's more culturally acceptable for women to drink. Also, more women are in the workforce now — and that could mean more business meet and greets over happy hour. And we've all heard about "mommy juice," in countless references by female celebrities about the enjoyment they get out of a glass of red wine.

In this podcast episode, we discuss if we've experienced this ourselves, or whether we have noticed an uptick in the amount of alcohol being consumed by our loved ones. And if you think you might need help, here's some resources that you can turn to.

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Why women carry the mental load in relationships. PLUS: Top U.S. destinations! Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at forever39@nj1015.com.

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about why people start hating their job at 35, the stores and shopping apps we can't get enough of, and confusing nutritional studies.

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