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Let’s Not Forget Alcohol

According to the CDC, in the U.S. 88,000 people die each year from alcohol related tragedies, which compares to 47,000 deaths from opioids.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) recently declared, “Let’s Not Forget Alcohol.” Concerned about the increasing use and misuse of alcohol beverages, the NCADD pointed out that per nearly twice as many people die from alcohol use as opioid use. According to the CDC, in the U.S. 88,000 people die each year from alcohol related tragedies, which compares to 47,000 deaths from opioids.

Increases in alcohol use among women, older adults, racial minorities and the economically disadvantaged have increased disproportionately, putting those groups at substantial risk of alcohol related injuries, disease and death.

Excessive drinking among persons aged 12 to 20 is particularly alarming, according to the CDC. Persons aged 11 to 20 consume 11% of all alcoholic beverages sold in the United States!

The CDC declares that some people should not drink any alcohol:

  • persons younger than 21 years
  • women who are pregnant or may be pregnant
  • anyone driving or planning to drive
  • those taking prescription medications which may interact with alcohol
  • anyone unable to control the amount they drink or have been diagnosed with alcoholism

Alcohol consumption puts people at risk for both short-term and long-term health consequences.

Short-term health risks:

  • motor vehicle crashes, falls and drownings
  • violence including homicide, suicide, sexual assault and intimate partner violence
  • risky sexual behaviors leading to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections – HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, hepatitis C and chlamydia
  • relationship dysfunction

Long-term health risks:

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke
  • dementia
  • depression and anxiety
  • job loss, unemployment and poverty
  • alcohol dependence
  • relationship dysfunction including divorce

Take the Alcohol Quiz: https://www.facingaddiction.org/resources/quiz-do-i-have-an-alcohol-addiction

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Power your path to happiness and subscribe to Be Healthy! Be Happy! with Dr. Jim on YouTube.

References:

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), 2018. Let’s Not Forget Alcohol Online [available at]: https://www.facingaddiction.org/news/2019/04/03/lets-not-forget-alcohol Accessed April 14, 2019.

Centers for disease control and Prevention, 2019. Fact Sheet – Alcohol Use and Your Health. Online [available at]: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm Accessed April 14, 2019.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Atlanta, GA: CDC. Accessed April 14, 2019.