Alcohol Related Deaths at All-Time High in U.S.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are dying of alcohol-induced causes in record numbers. In 2014, more Americans died from heavy alcohol consumption than drugs. In fact, more than heroin and prescription users combined. In general, alcohol related deaths have increased 37% in about 12 years.. That’s over 30,000, or nearly 10 deaths per 100,000 persons. in 2014. By contrast, total opioid deaths were calculated at 28,000.
In addition, Americans reported drinking more on two surveys from The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. And the National Health Interview Survey (2014) found that almost 30% of persons 18 years and over reported at least one heavy drinking day in the past year.
Included in the CDC report were natural causes such as alcohol poisoning and liver cirrhosis. Death by injury, car accident, homicide or suicide were not included. This means that the true number of alcohol related deaths is not even close to complete.
Experts believe that the risks of heavy drinking are not as widely understood as drugs, mainly because alcohol is legal and consuming it is acceptable behavior.
As long as alcohol is legal and widely available, this trend is expected to continue. There are few restrictions on alcohol advertising, and there is a lack of general education on the risks of heavy consumption or binge drinking. Alcohol is very much a part of the culture, and for many, it almost feels like a personal right.
Most experts agree that safe, moderate drinking is limited to one or two drinks per day – or 7-14 drinks per week. Yet many self-called regular drinkers consume much more than this and do not feel they have a problem. There is a specific image of an alcoholic set in most people’s minds, and if they don’t fit it, then they must just be a normal drinker.
However, fortunately, 30% of Americans do not drink at all, and another 30% drink very infrequently. Unfortunately, that means that 40% of Americans consume 100% of the alcohol. It’s these individuals who are most susceptible to alcohol related deaths.
If you or someone you know is an alcoholic, please seek help immediately.