A new study concerning drinking in the United States reveals that overdrinking is killing more and more Americans every day. The highest rate death caused by alcohol in the last 35 years has been registered.
In 2014, approximately 30,000 people died because of alcohol abuse, according to the Washington Post. A majority of these people were suffering from cirrhosis or poisoning.
Cirrhosis is a disease that affects the liver and is most commonly caused by alcohol. Cirrhosis occurs if a person drinks more than two glasses of alcohol every day for a number of years. This disease killed 1,2 million people in 2013, of which 384,000 were caused by alcohol. In the United States, more men die of cirrhosis than women.
Since 2002, the number of deaths caused by alcohol grew with 37%. This is very alarming, especially since the number doesn’t include the drunken drivers who have died in car accidents or homicides that were committed under the influence of alcohol. If these would be taken into account, then we would be looking at around 90,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 9,6 deaths per 100,000 people, from a statistical perspective.
In 2014, more people died because of overdrinking than because of taking prescription drugs and heroin combined. 30,722 were killed by alcohol while 28,647 people were killed by prescription drugs and heroine together. Alcohol death rates are lower in the suburban counties, while the drug rates are higher.
A Duke professor named Philip J. Cook, has been studying alcohol consumption for a long time. He says that since 1990, the consumption of alcohol grew constantly and that he was expecting these high numbers. The number of women consuming alcohol rose as well. While 47,9% women drank in 2002, 51,9% women drank in 2012. A previous study done by the professor from the Duke University revealed that 10% of American adults consume an average of 74 drinks per week.
The major problem is that alcohol is legal and even encouraged by today’s society, as opposed to drugs that are banned and can get you in prison. Previous research showed that two drinks a day can keep you healthy, encouraging thus people to take up this unhealthy habit. Through this study, researchers want to bring awareness not only that overdrinking is killing more and more Americans every day, but also that alcohol can be as dangerous as any drug. With Christmas just around the corner, go ahead and have those two drinks you’ve been thinking about, but keep in mind to do it moderately.
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