The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings from a recent study regarding the number of lives and years lost due to alcohol-related deaths in the country. Among the statistics shared, the report showed that roughly 88,000 people died each year because of alcohol, at a cost of a quarter of a trillion dollars.
Stated another way, 2.5 million years of potential life are lost annually because of alcohol consumption. The causes range from alcohol poisoning to liver problems, as well as automobile accidents and many things in between.
The CDC specifically examined 11 states, including California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Of these states, New Mexico had the highest rate of alcohol-attributable deaths (50.9 per 100,000) and Utah had the lowest (22.4 per 100,000).
The study also found that the greatest impact in terms of years of potential life lost was among the working population (age 20-64), as 82% of the total number was attributed to that population segment.
The researchers recommended that routine monitoring of alcohol-attributable health outcomes in states could support the planning and implementation of evidence-based prevention strategies to reduce excessive drinking and related harms. These strategic programs have included tactics such as increasing the price of alcohol, limiting alcohol outlet density, and holding alcohol retailers liable for harms related to the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors and intoxicated patrons.
While these suggestions may have some impact socially, the greater responsibility falls on the shoulders of us all. When our culture routinely encourages heavy drinking through mediums such as television and music, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that so many years, lives and dollars are lost.
If you have someone struggling with an alcohol problem and want to find out more about getting help for them, contact Family First Intervention today.