The Alarming Number of Alcohol-Related Deaths Per Year

Published On: September 2, 20153.9 min read773 wordsCategories: Addiction Treatment And Rehab

Everyone knows, to some extent, about the opioid epidemic and the number of lives which it has tragically taken. Not so common, however, is the discussion of alcohol related deaths, both in our own country and worldwide, that occur per year. While some may experience drinking as a recreational activity, and others may only enjoy a glass of wine with dinner here or there, there are a growing number of people who battle alcohol addiction every day. And with that growing number also comes the increased risk and likelihood of death.

The role of alcohol in society

Alcohol is a key part of culture, for better or for worse. In some places, alcohol is nothing more than an artistic pairing with a beautifully cooked meal or something to sip while relaxing after a long week. In other environments, it’s the life of the party, the only thing that makes an event fun or even a prop for an entertaining game.

This prevalence of alcohol in culture is made evident from findings in a study done by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health:

  • In ages 18 and older, 85.6% of people reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lifetime;
  • 69.5% reported drinking in the past year;
  • 54.9% (59.1 % of men in this age group and 51.0% of women) reported drinking in the past month.

Because of its prevalent role in society and its dependent-producing properties, it has presented a fair share of problems, including alcohol use disorder:

  • Between the ages of 12 and 17, approximately 414,000 youths had alcohol-use disorder; of this number, 163,000 were male and 251,000 were female;
  • In ages 12 and up, alcohol-use disorder was reported in 14.5 million people,  including 9.0 million men and 5.5 million women.

So not only is alcohol a commonly consumed drink, it is a commonly abused substance.

Alcohol-related deaths

Tragically, because alcohol does alter one’s mental state, including slowing response time and impacting decision-making abilities, it has become a frequent cause of illness and death in people of all ages. In fact, according to the World Health Organization,  the “harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions”  and the cause of 3 million deaths worldwide every year.

When we consider alcohol-related deaths, it is tempting to think of them only in regards to one perishing from the over-consumption of alcohol. And while that is part of the number, there are numerous mental and physical health conditions that alcohol use disorder leads to which, in and of themselves, can end one’s life.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

These numbers are representative only in the United States; the amount of alcohol-related deaths worldwide are equally staggering.

The alcohol tragedy worldwide

One study done in 2017 concluded that the global consumption of alcohol had increased by 70% over the past 30 years, with a trend that was only supposed to continue. Now the problem still exists in people of all ages, with over 2 billion people as current alcohol consumers. Understandably, this has resulted in a number of alcohol-related deaths worldwide as well.

Not to mention the fact that countless families and communities throughout the world are negatively affected by the misuse of alcohol every day. Even if alcohol misuse does not result in death, a lifestyle of addiction can have serious negative impacts on all those around it.

Preventing alcohol misuse and death

Taking the time to understand the risks, consequences and dangers of alcohol misuse is important in the process of changing the narrative. If you or someone you love is challenged by the prominence of alcohol consumption in society and is seeking freedom or the tools needed to create healthy coping mechanisms, help is available.

Call Freedom Detox to learn more at (704) 327-3930 or visit our website anytime.

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