The desire to drink alcohol has been a significant part of our society for years, something especially true for individuals around the United States. Whether you’re a newcomer to the college party scene or an adult who spends their weekends in the bar, there’s no shortage of people impacted by alcohol and its effects.
Unfortunately, many health conditions are attributable to alcohol consumption, and in worst-case scenarios, it can lead to fatal outcomes. If you’re someone who consumes alcohol or is worried about the long-term prognosis of a heavy alcohol drinker in your family, it’s good to know what you’re up against. Learn more about ways alcoholism impacts society, including the mortality rate of this dangerous substance.
How Many People Die From Alcohol Each Year?
Believe it or not, about 140,000 people die yearly from alcoholism in the United States. Many of these deaths involve situations like drunk driving, binge drinking, failure to get the proper treatment, or teenage alcohol use. It’s believed that almost 1 in 10 individuals suffers from alcohol use disorder, and a small percentage of those people will actually get the help they need.
While alcoholism is a problem that can start at a young age, many of its effects are seen in older individuals. Almost 85% of alcohol-related deaths involved individuals aged 35 or older and were usually a result of conditions like heart disease, liver disease, and types of cancer. Men are three times as likely to die than women, and the individuals who pass lose about an average of 25 years of their expected lifespan.
It’s clear that alcoholism is a problem worldwide, as 3 million people on the planet die every year due to alcohol poisoning, abuse, and other effects. But is alcoholism a problem that’s getting better or worse?
Are Deaths From Alcoholism Increasing or Decreasing?
One of the biggest questions for all medical professionals is whether deaths attributable to alcohol are increasing or decreasing throughout the years. Drinking rates have increased throughout the years, with a significant increase of around 20,000 alcohol-related deaths from 2019 to 2020. To this point, alcohol-related deaths are up almost 34% from the levels they were at pre-pandemic. Factors driving these deaths include chronic liver disease, which increased by around 12,000 people in the past two years.
Additionally, there’s been an increase in “high-intensity drinking,” a condition in which individuals drink alcohol at rates two or more times their gender-specific drinking levels. This situation leaves individuals 70 times more likely to experience an alcohol-related emergency when compared to other drinkers. In total, there aren’t many signs pointing to alcohol consumption decreasing to levels that make a meaningful impact on death rates in the U.S. and around the world.
How Can I Prevent Alcoholism From Taking a Toll on My Family or Me?
As discussed, many people fail to get the help they need for excessive drinking. As of 2019, only 7.3% of people ages 18 and older get help for alcohol use disorder. This starts with a lack of awareness of where to turn for support and a failure to understand how to protect yourself when surrounded by alcohol.
We’ve all heard the quote, “too much of anything is a bad thing,” or some variation of that statement, which certainly applies to alcohol. Keeping your consumption at moderate levels — or cutting out alcohol completely — is the only way to protect yourself. Limit your intake to two drinks a day (men) or one drink a day (women). Avoid alcohol entirely if you’re younger than 21, pregnant, recovering from alcoholism, or taking medication impacted by alcohol consumption.
You can also turn to treatment facilities like Steps to Recovery that provide alcohol counseling programs and other treatment methods for mental health conditions. This can align you with experts in the field that cater treatment to you and keep you on track throughout the process. Regardless of the direction you choose, there are ways individuals can limit the impact alcohol has on their lives, even amid rising mortality rates.
Steps to Recovery Is Here to Help
If alcoholism is plaguing you, your family, or your loved ones, you might feel helpless and worry that you might never find the help you need. Fortunately, Steps to Recovery is here for you. Our professional treatment programs can provide expert guidance and personalized solutions for individuals who need rehabilitation for alcoholism. Don’t let an alcohol dependence take your life on a downward spiral. Contact us today, or give Steps to Recovery a call at 866-488-8684 for more information on how our professionals can help.