More than 30,000 Americans died from alcohol in 2014.
Alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen before in the past 3 decades or so.
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Last year, more than 30,000 people lost their lives due to alcohol drinking, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, a long-term damage to the liver which occurs due to excessive alcohol use.
In 2014, the death rate from alcohol-induced causes was 9.6 per 100,000 people with a staggering increase of 37% since 2002, which is also a record high in last 35 years.
According to latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report, in the United States approximately 88,000 died from alcohol during 2006 to 2010. This does not even include drunk driving, accidents from DUI or homicides committed after drinking.
The rate is comparatively higher than other death causes. For instance, another recent CDC report suggests that drug overdose deaths reached a record high last year. But still more people died from excessive alcohol drinking (30,722) than from overdose of prescribed pain relievers and heroin that killed a combined 28,647 people.
CDC says that a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol which is found in 12 ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol content), 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content) and 1.5 ounces of distilled spirit or liquor (40% alcohol content).
Then, how much alcohol is too much? When a woman consumes 4 or more drinks in a single occasion or 8 per week, it is considered excessive drinking. Men are considered heavy drinkers when they consume 5 or more drinks in a single occasion or 15 drinks per week.
According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is when a woman consumes 1 drink per day and a man not more than 2 a single day while some persons should not drink at all including pregnant woman or people younger than age 21.
Experts suggest that alcohol related health risks skyrocketed due to increase in alcohol consumption since 1990s. Too much and too often drinking might have something to do with the overall outcome.
“Since the prevalence of heavy drinking tends to follow closely with per capita consumption, it is likely that one explanation for the growth in alcohol-related deaths is that more people are drinking more.” Philip J. Cook, a professor at Duke University who studies alcohol consumption patterns and their effects told Washington Post.
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According to Cook’s research, 24 million American adults consume a close to 74 drinks per week or a little more than 10 drinks per day.