Americans like to drink. Sure, we already know this, but are we drinking too much?

In a recent study posted at the JAMA Psychiatry found that alcoholism affects 12.7 percent of the US population. This is an increase of 49 percent in the first decade of the 2000s.

Bridget Grant, the study’s lead author, told MedPage Today

These are the largest alcohol increases we have seen in three decades. The focus has been on opioids, heroin and marijuana use, but these are low prevalent disorders. Thirty million Americans now abuse alcohol.

As the U.S. deals with a terrible opioid and heroin epidemic, some are calling this the real public health crisis that's being totally overlooked.

The study focused on the drinking patterns 40,000 people between the years 2002 and 2003, and then again from 2012 to 2013. According to the findings, women, the elderly, and minorities saw the biggest increases in alcoholism.

There's a lot of factors that we all have to deal with that could be adding to these numbers. Of course, you have to look at the worst Recession since the Great Depression that left over ten percent of the population out of work in 2008-2009 as a culprit. That, and the increased cost of living, and mounting debt many Americans face could be other likely factors.