Higher Rates of Death and Disability From Alcohol Use Disorder

Death & Alcohol Use Disorder

Researchers have estimated that in 2005 about 53,000 men and 12,000 women died from issues related to alcohol use disorders. These numbers are a reflection of the more than 200 diseases or injuries that alcohol use disorders can cause. The researchers also found that AUD was linked to three percent of all deaths in adults 18 and older in the U.S. According to the CDC Fact Sheet, “Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.3 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death.1 In 2006, there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking.”

 Disability & Alcohol Use Disorder

Aside from the large number of deaths that are caused by alcohol use disorders, there are also millions of people disabled from alcohol related causes. In 2005 there were 1,785,000 men and 658,000 women living with an alcohol related disability. Medical professionals and addiction specialist all agree that addictions like alcoholism are public health concerns. In order to address the issues of death and disabilities caused by alcohol use disorders there must be policies and programs in place to combat its’ effects on the general population. The president of the American Society of Addiction, Stuart Gitlow, M.D., agreed that alcohol is definitely linked to burden of disease in the United States. “But the problem is everyone in the field defines AUD, a fairly new term, differently. The lead author of the study, Jürgen Rehm, Ph.D., director of social and epidemiological research at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto in Canada, said “reducing burden of AUD on society needs to have a multi-pronged approach and prevention can’t be regulated by health care policy makers. There needs to be restrictions on the availability of alcohol. Increases in taxation or bans of advertisements are not part of health care, and this is part of the problem.” Rehm is correct in his assertion that in order to reform alcohol use nationwide, we have to look to how the tobacco industry has implemented its prevention methods. Gitlow added that alcohol is a public health issue and its cost to society is huge. “Today, at the ongoing high societal rate that alcohol is consumed in the U.S., there is little that can be done to prevent it. But the simple truth is alcohol has significant risks and minimal benefits.”

If you or someone you know needs alcohol addiction treatment, give FHE Health a call at 1-844-299-0618.


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