Alcohol is by far one of the most abused substances on the planet, mainly because of the social acceptability that can help a person hide their addiction easier than with other substances. In most surveys alcohol use almost always outweighs other drugs, in fact in 2015, 51.7% of Americans over the age of 12 reported drinking alcohol within the last month. Of those who sought treatment from alcohol rehab in Los Angeles in 2015, 50% of admissions were for alcohol abuse.
Due to the addictive nature of alcohol and the way society accepts and encourages drinking, abuse of the substance is very common. Just watch any American movie about the college experience and you will see people being encouraged to binge drink. The good news is unlike with other drugs, the stigma attached to alcoholism is mostly all gone. This is due in large to the Alcoholics Anonymous movement that began in 1934, and the fact that research and treatment prior to the early 2000's are focused largely on alcohol abuse.