Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States. Among the middle-aged in the United States, drinking is taking its toll. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people between the ages of 35 and 64 are dying in record numbers. 76% of alcohol poisoning deaths are ages 35-64. Of those deaths, 75% are men. So why are middle-aged people dying from alcohol abuse?
The Addiction Crisis
Drinking alcohol can lead to addiction at any age.
A study from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states, “86.4 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.1 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.0 percent reported that they drank in the past month.” Drinking is a huge part of American culture, for better or for worse.
While there has been a lot of focus on the addiction crisis as it pertains to opioids, the media has been ignoring the larger story. Recovery from addiction means abstaining from ALL mind-altering drugs, including alcohol. Yet for many, alcohol is the drug of choice. And it’s easy to see why: it’s socially acceptable, easy to get, and a large part of the population in the US and abroad don’t see anything wrong with abusing alcohol.
How Do People Die From Alcoholism?
CDC statistics show that US adults who binge drink consume about eight drinks when they binge. Binge drinking leads to a high blood alcohol level, which can cause all kinds of accidents, including impairment that comes with the blood alcohol level of around .08, the legal limit in many states.
Alcohol addiction is prevalent in deaths caused by alcohol. About 30% of the people who died from alcohol overdose have alcohol dependence.
A 2014 World Health Organization report says that alcohol contributes to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, including liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.
When people think of death by alcohol, they envision deaths caused by drunk driving first. However, of the alcohol-related deaths in America every year (and there are about 88,000 of them, according to the National Institutes of Health) people are also dying of overdoses (alcohol poisoning) and other accidents, such as falls.
For middle-aged people, and especially men, alcohol-related deaths are mostly by overdose and alcohol-related diseases, like pancreatic cancer or liver disease.
No One Has to Abuse Alcohol – Help is Available
While alcohol addiction is a painful and widespread problem, no one has to use alcohol if they’re ready to quit. Detox and addiction treatment can help a person heal physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s not a great idea to try to detox on your own; alcohol detox can be painful and even dangerous.
If you or somebody you love is addicted to alcohol, please give us a 100% confidential phone call to learn about your options at 619-363-4767.