A new report shows that more Americans than ever are drinking themselves to death. Alcohol is responsible for more deaths than heroin and prescription drugs combined.
About 30,000 Americans have died last year because of direct alcohol consumption, being it alcohol poisoning or cirrhosis, which is a liver disease caused by alcohol. It means that for every 100,000 dead people, 9.6 have drunk themselves to death. The rate of alcohol-induced deaths has increased since 2002 by 37 percent.
Although, these numbers do not include indirect alcohol deaths, such as crimes committed by people while they were under the influence of alcohol, from accidents to homicides and drunk driving. CDC claims that including indirect alcohol related deaths, there are over 90,000 people killed by alcohol each ear.
According to Professor Philip J. Cook, from the Duke University, alcohol consumption has been on the rise since the 1990s. If in 2002 there 54.9 percent of the Americans reported to be drinking at least once per month, in 2014 the rate reached 56.9 percent. The most extreme change has been observed among women, from 47.9 percent to 51.9 percent during the same period. The percent of women who reported binge drinking has also increased.
In 2014 more people have been killed by alcohol than by heroin and prescription painkillers together – 30,722 deaths versus 28,647 deaths.
However, drug-related deaths and alcohol-related deaths are very different from each other in terms of patterns. They don’t even occur in the same places. While Pennsylvania has the third-lowest rate of alcohol-related deaths, it also has the sixth-highest drug-related deaths. Each year 921.4 people in every 100,000 die in Pennsylvania from drug overdose.
At the same time, more people die from drug overdose in suburban counties than from alcohol while in cities it’s the other way around.
Even if the deaths related by drug overdose are fewer than those caused by alcohol, a lot more efforts are being made to stop the consumption of drugs than the consumption of alcohol.
More than that, while drugs are being banned and people can go to prison if they possess them, alcohol is totally legal and even encouraged by the society.
Now we have to ask ourselves what is this all about. How comes that alcohol producers are respectable business people when their industry kills so many people and drug producers are hunted, being considered criminals? What are the values do we want to promote?
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