Excessive drinking can lead to alcohol-related deaths, including digestive, heart disease, infectious diseases and cancers.
It also plays a significant role in motor vehicle crashes, violence, falls, burns, drownings and overdose deaths.
In a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scientists found alcohol abuse caused nearly 13% of deaths in American adults under 65 between 2015 and 2019.
Among younger U.S. adults aged 20 to 49, alcohol abuse was the cause of 20% of deaths.
According to the study, excessive alcohol use accounted for more than 140,000 deaths per year. Two-thirds of these deaths were among adults aged 20 to 64.
The leading causes of these deaths were an alcoholic liver disease, using another substance in addition to having a high blood alcohol level, and car crashes.
The researchers noted that things only got worse during the pandemic: Compared with 2019, deaths from alcohol increased during 2020.
In the study, the team used data from the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
They suggest these deaths can be reduced by raising liquor taxes and limiting where alcohol is sold.
The study underscores the disastrous impact alcohol misuse has in communities, and it highlights the need for us to view alcohol use disorders as a chronic healthcare issue, like other illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The team says more research is needed to normalize conversations around alcohol use so universal screenings can be expanded and create an environment in which someone feels comfortable seeking help.
If you care about alcohol drinking, please read studies about the root cause of alcohol addiction, and how alcohol, coffee and tea intake influence cognitive decline.
For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that alcohol abuse can be a symptom of dementia, and results showing new way to treat alcohol-associated liver disease.
The study was conducted by Marissa Esser et al and published in JAMA Network Open.
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