How many people die from excessive alcohol use? According to the Centers for Disease Control, excessive use leads to 88,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.
About 90% of people who drink excessively actually do not qualify as having a disorder- which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as, “a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.” Think about that: 90% of people who drink too much aren’t diagnostically considered to have this disorder, previously known as alcoholism.
“About 90% of people who drink excessively actually do not qualify as having severe alcohol use disorder.” So if you do something like, say, have a hard time limiting your drinking, continue to drink despite personal or professional consequences, needing more to have the same effect, or want to drink so badly that you can’t think of anything else, then you may have alcohol use disorder.
Sure, for me, it eventually led to alcohol use disorder, but I know plenty of people from my old life who would still fit some of that criteria but wouldn’t necessarily qualify themselves as having severe disorder.
Guess what The Lancet recommended if you wanted to minimize health outcomes? “Zero standard drinks per week.” What can we do to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol use? So now that you have heard all of the depressing news what, exactly, are we supposed to do about it? That’s where Alcohol Awareness Month comes in – though being aware of these facts shouldn’t be relegated to April only.
The CDC has a few ideas for helping us spread the message of the potential dangers , including doing things in our community such as encouraging friends and family members to make small changes, parents sharing with their kids the risks of using, and doctors and nurses talking to their patients about the benefits of drinking less or quitting.
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