Rate of Alcohol-Induced Deaths Increased 37 Percent Since 2002

The rate of alcohol-induced deaths has increased 37 percent since 2002, reaching 30,700 U.S. deaths in 2014, The Washington Post reports.

The alcohol death rate is the highest in 35 years, the newspaper notes. Alcohol-induced deaths included those from alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis. There were 9.6 deaths from alcohol-induced causes per 100,000 people in 2014.

These deaths do not include those from drunk driving, other accidents and homicides committed under the influence of alcohol. If those deaths were included, the yearly toll of deaths directly or indirectly caused by alcohol would reach almost 90,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2014, more people died from alcohol-induced causes than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined (28,647), the article notes.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found the number of American adults who drink at least monthly increased from 54.9 percent in 2002 to 56.9 percent in 2014. The increase was greatest in women. The percentage of woman who said they drink monthly or more increased from 47.9 percent in 2002 to 51.9 percent in 2014. The rate of women who reported binge drinking (having five or more drinks on at least one occasion) rose from 15.7 percent to 17.4 percent during the same period.

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    David H. Bender

    January 5, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    For many years, Pennsylvania has had the lowest rate of alcohol-induced death in the entire nation. Proponents of privatizing our state-controlled retail liquor system want to “bring PA into the 21st century and put it on par with the other states.”

    Obviously, being on par with the other states is not such a grand idea.

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