I refer you to Prevalence of 12-Month Alcohol Use, High-Risk Drinking, and DSM-IV Alcohol Use Disorder in the United States, 2001-2002 to 2012-2013. My apologies for not being able to locate the primary data sooner.
Key summary quotes below:
Twelve-month alcohol use significantly increased from 65.4% in 2001-2002 to 72.7% in 2012-2013, a relative percentage increase of 11.2%
The prevalence of 12-month high-risk drinking increased significantly between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013 from 9.7% to 12.6% (change, 29.9%) in the total population.
The prevalence of 12-month DSM-IV AUD increased significantly from 8.5% to 12.7% (change, 49.4%) in the total population.
Twelve-month DSM-IV AUD among 12-month alcohol users significantly increased from 12.9% to 17.5% (change, 35.7%) in the total population.
At the end of the day, I am still going to trust outcomes data over survey data. People lie, autopsies don’t. What I know is that acute alcohol poisoning increased by 700% in 20 years. You die from acute alcohol poisoning not because you slowly got sick over years, but because you drank so much so quickly that your body is overwhelmed. And this is in spite of the medical profession getting better at hemodialysis to bring down acutely toxic ethanol poisoning.
What I also know is that alcohol related hepatic deaths bottomed out in 2003 and have since been rising rapidly (~50% increase). This is due to the fact that the generation socialized by prohibition had lower lifetime alcohol use and problematic alcohol use than the generations before or after. As that generation died off, or aged out, successive generations who drank more started refilling the hepatic wards. Even more fun for every age bracket, we are seeing more alcohol related hepatic death than we saw a decade ago for those same age brackets excepting only the youngest cohorts.
These are basically impossible to square with a thesis of no substantial change in drinking patterns. They fit quite nicely with formal epidemiological surveys showing more problematic drinking and a shift in alcohol consumption.
That is from “Sure,” see also his/her other comments in the longer thread.