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Alcohol Poisoning Kills Six Americans Every Day, CDC Reports

Alcohol Poisoning Kills Six Americans Every Day, CDC Reports


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A two-year report from the CDC reveals some troubling data about the rate of deaths by alcohol poisoning in the US

Of all demographics, middle-aged white males were at the highest risk for fatalities related to excessive alcohol consumption.

Alcohol poisoning is the cause of death for an average of six Americans every day, according to a startling new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though binge-drinking accounts for many of those deaths, the demographic with the highest risk of death from alcohol poisoning was not college students, as you might expect, but males between the ages of 35 and 64.

According to records from the CDC, which measured the number of deaths from alcohol poisoning in the United States between 2010 and 2012, adults of that age range accounted for 76 percent, or three out of every four, deaths. Furthermore, of alcohol poisoning-related deaths, 76 percent of fatalities were men. Overall, nearly 70 percent of those who died from excess alcohol consumption were non-Hispanic whites. A detailed infographic is available on the CDC website.

Geographic patterns also emerged from the CDC study, which revealed that in many regions, binge-drinking is “strongly influenced by state and local laws governing the price and availability of alcohol, as well as other cultural and religious factors." Of the 10 states with the highest rates of alcohol poisoning deaths, eight were in the West, including Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, and Wyoming.


Alcohol Facts and Statistics

Prevalence of Drinking: According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.6 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime, 1 69.5 percent reported that they drank in the past year, 2 and 54.9 percent (59.1 percent of men in this age group and 51.0 percent of women in this age group 3 ) reported that they drank in the past month. 3

Prevalence of Binge Drinking and Heavy Alcohol Use: In 2019, 25.8 percent of people ages 18 and older (29.7 percent of men in this age group and 22.2 percent of women in this age group 4 ) reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month, 4 and 6.3 percent (8.3 percent of men in this age group and 4.5 percent of women in this age group 5 ) reported that they engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month. 5 (See glossary for definitions of binge drinking and heavy alcohol use.)

Emerging Trend—High-Intensity Drinking: High-intensity drinking is defined as consuming alcohol at levels that are two or more times the gender-specific binge drinking thresholds (See glossary for additional details about the definition of high-intensity drinking). Compared with people who did not binge drink, people who drank alcohol at twice the gender-specific binge drinking thresholds were 70 times more likely to have an alcohol-related emergency department (ED) visit, and those who consumed alcohol at 3 times the gender-specific binge thresholds were 93 times more likely to have an alcohol-related ED visit. 6


Combatting the Opioid Overdose Epidemic

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CDC is committed to fighting the opioid overdose epidemic and supporting states and communities as they continue work to identify outbreaks, collect data, respond to overdoses, and provide care to those in their communities. Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) is a 3-year cooperative agreement through which CDC funds health departments in 47 states, Washington DC, two territories, and 16 cities and counties for surveillance and prevention efforts. These efforts include timelier tracking of nonfatal and fatal drug overdoses, improving toxicology to better track polysubstance-involved deaths, enhancing linkage to care for people with opioid use disorder and risk for opioid overdose, improving prescription drug monitoring programs, implementing health systems interventions, partnering with public safety, and implementing other innovative surveillance and prevention activities.

  • Monitoring trends to better understand and respond to the epidemic.
  • Advancing research by collecting and analyzing data on opioid-related overdoses and improving data quality to better identify areas that need assistance and to evaluate prevention efforts.
  • Building state, local and tribal capacity by equipping states with resources, improving data collection, and supporting use of evidence-based strategies. Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) is a cooperative agreement that aims to increase the timeliness and comprehensives of data and to use those data to inform public health response and prevention activities.
  • Supporting providers, healthcare systems, and payers with data, tools, and guidance for evidence-based decision-making to improve opioid prescribing and patient safety.
  • Partnering with public safety officials and community organizations, including law enforcement, to address the growing illicit opioid problem.
  • Increasing public awareness about prescription opioid misuse and overdose and to make safe choices about opioids.

Collaboration is essential for success in preventing opioid overdose deaths. Medical personnel, emergency departments, first responders, public safety officials, mental health and substance use treatment providers, community-based organizations, public health, and members of the community all bring awareness, resources, and expertise to address this complex and fast-moving epidemic. Together, we can better coordinate efforts to prevent opioid overdoses and deaths.


Alcohol Poisoning Kills 6 Americans Every Day And The Majority Of Them Are Men [Infographic]

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol poisoning kills an average of six people every day in the United States. Most at risk are middle aged men in the 35 to 64 age bracket. Males are at considerably higher risk than females - 76 percent of those who die from alcohol poisoning are men.

Across the United States, there are approximately 2,200 deaths from alcohol poisoning every year and the problem is thought to have cost $223.5 billion back in 2006. On a regional basis, Alaska has the most deaths per million people while Alabama has the fewest.

I am a Statista data journalist, covering technological, societal and media topics through visual representation. In fact, I love to write about all trending topics,

I am a Statista data journalist, covering technological, societal and media topics through visual representation. In fact, I love to write about all trending topics, illustrating patterns and trends in a quick, clear and meaningful way. Our work at Statista has been featured in publications including Mashable, the Wall Street Journal and Business Insider.


Addiction Statistics

Whether it’s a problem with alcohol, opioids, cocaine, or any other substance, addiction kills thousands of Americans every year and impacts millions of lives. Addiction is a mental disorder which compels someone to repeatedly use substances or engage in behaviors even though they have harmful consequences. Addictions destroy marriages, friendships, and careers and threaten a person’s basic health and safety.

  • Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.
  • Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.
  • From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 Americans died from overdosing on a drug.
  • Alcohol and drug addiction cost the U.S. economy over $600 billion every year.
  • In 2017, 34.2 million Americans committed DUI, 21.4 million under the influence of alcohol and 12.8 million under the influence of drugs.
  • About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.
  • More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.
  • Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs.
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Statistics on Alcohol Addiction and Abuse

Alcohol is the most widely-abused substance in the United States, yet alcoholism is often left untreated. Alcohol addiction is detrimental to a person’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.

  • Every year, worldwide, alcohol is the cause of 5.3% of deaths (or 1 in every 20).
  • About 300 million people throughout the world have an alcohol use disorder.
  • On average, 30 Americans die every day in an alcohol-related car accident, and six Americans die every day from alcohol poisoning.
  • About 88,000 people die as a result of alcohol every year in the United States.
  • About 6% of American adults (about 15 million people) have an alcohol use disorder, but only about 7% of Americans who are addicted to alcohol ever receive treatment.
  • Men between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to binge drink and become alcoholics.
  • In 2017, approximately 2.3 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 and 2.4 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 started to drink alcohol.
  • In 2018, a historically-low percentage of American high school students reported drinking alcohol. Only 18% of 10 th graders and 30% of 12 th graders admitted to drinking underage in 2018 compared to 25% of 10 th graders and 39% of 12 th graders in 2013.

Statistics on Opioid Addiction and Abuse

Opioids are a class of drugs which block sensations of pain and cause euphoria. They are dangerous because they pose very high risks for addiction and overdose. Opioids are an ingredient in many pain-relieving medications. Since they are controlled substances, drug traffickers also sell them illegally. Opioids, both illegal and prescribed, have caused a surge of deaths in the United States in the past two decades.

  • About 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
  • From 1999 to 2017, 399,230 Americans lost their lives to opioids.
  • In 2017 alone, 47,600 fatal overdoses occurred in America which involved at least one opioid.
  • In 2017, doctors issued 191,218,272 opioid prescriptions, a slight decline from the 200,000,000 opioid prescriptions which they issued every year from 2006 to 2016.
  • Since 1999, the sale of opioid painkillers has skyrocketed by 300%.
  • About 20% to 30% of people who take prescription opioids misuse them.
  • 2 million Americans misused prescription opioids for the first time in 2017.
  • About 10% of people who misuse prescription opioids become addicted to opioids.
  • Approximately 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder.
  • About 5% of people with an opioid use disorder will try heroin.
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Statistics on Heroin Addiction and Abuse

Heroin is a powerful and addictive opioid. It is an illegal drug which poses serious risks for overdose. Heroin, especially heroin mixed with fentanyl, has been a major contributor to the opioid epidemic in the United States.

  • About 494,000 Americans over the age of 12 are regular heroin users.
  • In 2017, 886,000 Americans used heroin at least once.
  • About 25% of people who try heroin will become addicted.
  • In 2017, 81,000 Americans tried heroin for the first time.
  • Over 15,000 Americans died from a heroin overdose in 2017.

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Statistics on Marijuana Addiction and Abuse

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug which comes from the THC-bearing cannabis plant. It is becoming increasingly legal throughout the United States, both for medicine and for recreation, but it’s still not completely safe because it may be addictive and cause health problems.

  • About 30-40 million Americans smoke marijuana every year.
  • About 43% of American adults admit to trying marijuana.
  • In 2017, 1.2 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 and 525,000 Americans over the age of 26 used marijuana for the first time.
  • In 2018, 13% of 8 th graders, 27% of 10 th graders, and 35% of 12 th graders had used marijuana at least once in the past year. Less than 1% of 8 th graders, about 3% of 10 th graders, and about 5% of 12 th graders reported using it every day.
  • About 30% of people who regularly use marijuana have a marijuana use disorder.
  • The average batch of marijuana in 1990 contained less than 4% THC, but that percentage has since risen to over 12%. The average batch of marijuana has become more powerful.
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Statistics on Tobacco Addiction and Abuse

In most states, anyone over the age of 18 can easily purchase a box of cigarettes. Although cigarettes are legal and accessible, they cause a variety of fatal health conditions and they are also addictive.

  • About 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes.
  • The percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes has decreased from 21% in 2005 to 14% in 2017.
  • About 16% of American men and about 12% of American women smoke cigarettes.
  • People who are disabled, live below the poverty line, or lack a college education are more likely to smoke cigarettes.
  • In 2017, about 604,000 Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 and about 1.2 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 21 smoked their first cigarette.
  • Smoking cigarettes is the cause of over 480,000 deaths every year in the United States.
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Statistics on Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant. Whether it comes in the form of powder or crystal (commonly called “crack”), cocaine can damage organs, provoke mental disorders, and cause respiratory failure. Cocaine is also highly addictive. Some cocaine users may become addicted after using the drug only once.

  • About 5 million Americans are regular cocaine users.
  • In 2017, 2.2 million Americans used cocaine at least once the previous month.
  • Cocaine was involved in 1 out of every 5 overdose deaths in 2017.
  • The percentage of cocaine-related overdose deaths increased by 34% from 2016 to 2017.
  • Americans between the ages of 18 to 25 use cocaine more than any other age group.
  • In 2017, 1 million Americans above the age of 12 used cocaine for the first time.
  • In 2018, almost 4% of 12 th graders admitted to having used cocaine at least once in their lives.

Statistics on Methamphetamine Addiction and Abuse

Methamphetamine, which is commonly called meth, is a controlled substance which has a high potential for abuse, overdose, and addiction. As an illegal drug, meth is usually sold as “crystal” (white rocks or fragments) to be burned and smoked. Meth is highly addictive and dangerous for a person’s health.

  • About 774,000 Americans are regular meth users. About 16,000 of them are between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • About 10,000 Americans who regularly used meth suffered a fatal overdose in 2017.
  • About 964,000 Americans are addicted to meth.
  • In 2017, about 195,000 Americans used meth for the first time.
  • The number of fatal meth overdoses almost tripled from 2011 to 2016.

Statistics on Hallucinogen Addiction and Abuse

Hallucinogens are a category of mind-altering drugs. Psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, mescaline, LSD, PCP, ketamine, Ecstasy, and salvia are all hallucinogenic drugs. They are all illegal and they all carry risks for traumatizing hallucinations, impaired judgment, and addiction.

  • About 1.4 million people in the United States are regular hallucinogen users. About 143,000 of them are minors between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • In 2017, 1.2 million Americans, including 344,000 minors between the ages of 12 and 17, used a hallucinogen for the first time.
  • In 2018, 2% of 12 th graders admitted to trying a hallucinogen at least once in their lives.

Statistics on Inhalant Addiction and Abuse

Inhalants are a group of solvents, gases, and aerosol sprays which people inhale to get high. Inhalants are household objects like nail polish, glue, hair spray, and leather cleaner, but they can have mind-altering effects. “Huffing” inhalants can cause a person to lose consciousness or develop addiction.

  • More than 23 million Americans have tried an inhalant at least once in their lives.
  • About 556,000 Americans are regular inhalant users.
  • Almost 9% of 12 th graders in 2018 reported using an inhalant.
  • Inhalants contribute to about 15% of deaths by suffocation every year.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and you need more information about what to do and where to go, please contact a dedicated treatment provider today.

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Alcohol Poisoning Deaths In the United States Reach Six Per Day

If you didn’t notice the January 6, 2015, headline “alcohol poisoning kills six Americans every day,” then there is a good chance you will still catch one of these headlines, as more and more news outlets are continuing to report on this news. (See Related Articles below).

Of course, there is more to this headline and we will provide the details, but it is amazing that more people aren’t motivated by this headline to do something. Keep in mind the headline says alcohol poisoning, not alcoholism.

CDC Vitalsigns™ reports on alcohol poisoning deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for January 9, 2015, included statistics for Alcohol Poisoning Deaths – United States 2010-2012 (See page 1238). This report, in turn, became featured in the January 2015 CDC’s Vitalsigns™.

Here are some highlights of the report:

  • 76% of alcohol poisoning deaths are among adults ages 35 to 64
  • 76% of those who die from alcohol poisoning are men
  • Most alcohol poisoning deaths are among non-Hispanic whites
  • A smaller share of the US population, American Indians/Alaska Natives have the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million of any of the races
  • Alaska has the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million, while Alabama has the least
  • Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) was identified as a factor in 30% of alcohol poisoning deaths.

See NBC News Report on deadly drink

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

These are preventable deaths…

The truth is at least 70% of these deaths are easily preventable with education and vigilance. Here is what the CDC recommends:

  • Avoid binge drinking – if you do drink alcohol stay within the dietary guidelines of no more than 1 drink per day for woman and 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Avoid drinks with unknown alcohol content.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
  • Remember caffeine can mask alcohol’s effects and cause people to drink more than they intend
  • Get help for anyone experiencing life-threatening signs of alcohol poisoning

Most important is if you feel you do have a problem with alcohol or one of your loved ones may have a problem, talk to your primary care provider. These deaths are preventable.


Study proposes greater emphasis on dangers of alcohol in overdose prevention campaigns

A new American study suggests that ingesting large quantities of alcohol often leads to the intake of other psychotropic substances such as cannabis and opioids, also pointing out that mixing alcohol with drugs amplifies the risks of severe accidents and death.

Since the start of the opioid crisis sweeping across the United States, a large part of national harm-reduction campaigns have been focusing on medication and other illicit drugs that are part of the opiates category (fentanyl, morphine, heroin, etc).

According to University of Michigan Addiction Center researchers, there is one drug -- one that is perfectly legal and extremely popular -- that should occupy more space at the heart of prevention policy.

The study, recently published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, points out that alcohol, used on its own, kills an average of six Americans every day, a statistic that may shock less than the 130 deaths caused by overdoses of opioids daily, in the US alone.

But the research has revealed that, across the 660 subjects who consulted with the University of Michigan's Addiction Center, 90% had experienced an alcohol overdose (such as a "blackout" or alcohol poisoning so severe as to require medical attention) at least once in their lives. Eighty percent of them reported having consumed drugs while drinking, such as sedatives like sleeping pills or marijuana, stimulants like cocaine or crack, or illicit or prescription opioids.

University of Michigan addiction psychologist Anne Fernandez, who led the study, explained that "Alcohol may be more socially acceptable than other substances, but it's still one of our nation's biggest killers, in both its acute and long-term effects, and its role in raising the risk of serious injuries during other activities like driving."

"We need to understand better how people mix substances, and how overdoses result from the interactions of those substances," Fernandez continued. The researcher underscored the need for further research should be conducted on a larger scale, noting that her work was conducted exclusively among a limited number of patients having been admitted to the University of Michigan's Addiction Center.


Poisoned by Booze

Alcohol poisoning is medically defined as “a condition in which a toxic amount of alcohol has been consumed, usually in a short period of time. The affected individual may become extremely disoriented, unresponsive, or unconscious, with shallow breathing.” However, there truly is no clear-cut definition of alcohol poisoning, because alcohol is a poison.

Online news source Gizmodo interviewed an emergency room doctor about alcohol poisoning. (Because the doctor wished to remain anonymous, she is referred to in the article as Doctor L.) She explained how alcohol poisoning actually occurs with every single drink. The doctor said, “‘Alcohol poisoning’ is a layman’s term. Alcohol intoxication is a spectrum and there isn’t a specific threshold that one crosses and suddenly becomes poisoned.”

Every case is individual. All people respond to alcohol uniquely, and therefore no terms exist to define levels of alcohol poisoning. Obviously though, some cases are worse than others. Doctor L explained what an emergency room staff would do for a mild case of alcohol poisoning, and then for a severe case.

In a Mild Case

The doctor explained how mild alcohol poisoning is accompanied by dehydration, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure in some cases. Therefore, other than hooking an IV up to the patient, mostly the medical staff simply observes. “Often it is just a matter of watching the patient until he/she recovers. Intravenous fluids are often administered to help hydrate the patient…” said Doctor L. Victims of alcohol poisoning suffer from severe dehydration because alcohol is a diuretic, a substance which increases urination. Also, vomiting rids the body of water, furthering this dehydration.

A mild case of alcohol poisoning is no laughing matter. The term ‘mild’ is only being used here in comparison to a severe case, which can be fatal. The difference between a mild case and a severe case can literally be a drink or two. This is because someone can continue to drink even once diagnosable alcohol poisoning has set in.

In a Severe Case

Again, there are no clear levels of alcohol poisoning. However, with more severe cases of alcohol poisoning, victims are usually unconscious, unresponsive, vomiting, or any combination of the three. In severe cases, Doctor L said to Gizmodo, “the goal is to maintain adequate breathing and circulation until the body (mainly the liver) metabolizes the alcohol. It (alcohol) depresses the respiratory drive and may result in inadequate oxygen levels and/or excess carbon dioxide levels.” Patients are usually oxygenated.

Worse yet, alcohol causes failure of the gag reflex, greatly increasing the likelihood of choking to death on vomit. Preventing this used to be done by stomach pumping, but it has since been realized that pumping a stomach is more harmful than helpful. Nowadays, “a different, smaller tube is inserted through the mouth or nose, then threaded through the esophagus and into the stomach. The tube is placed on suction, which decompresses the stomach and greatly reduces the risk of vomiting,” said the doctor.

In any case, alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening. It is altogether dangerous, and a medical emergency in every case. A study performed two years ago by the CDC and multiple state health departments revealed that between 2006 and 2010, “9.8% of all deaths in the United States… were attributable to excessive drinking, and 69% of all AAD [alcohol-attributable deaths] involved working-age adults.” Furthermore, the study showed that in just those five years, a total of 2,560,290 years of life were taken away by excessive alcohol use. This is measured in YPLL, or years of potential life lost.

Not only is alcohol killing us, it’s giving us shorter lives.


Alcohol Addiction in the United States

Alcohol or ethanol/ethyl alcohol is the primary ingredient found in beer, wine, and spirits, which creates intoxicating effects. Alcohol is a sedative-hypnotic drug, which means it attacks the central nervous system, ultimately depressing it. However, a small amount of alcohol does act as a stimulant and produces a feeling of euphoria and excited behavior. When you consume too much alcohol, it leads to drowsiness, respiratory depression, coma, and even death. Large amounts of alcohol in a short time lead to a lethal dose causing alcohol poisoning. Alcohol has an effect on every organ in the body, and these effects depend on the blood-alcohol concentration or BAC.

What happens when you drink alcohol?

Alcohol affects the body in many different ways physically and psychologically. Once alcohol is consumed it is rapidly absorbed into the blood, essentially moving throughout the entire body. Your liver is the organ that breaks down the ethanol at a rate of one standard drink per hour. If you are consuming three to five standard drinks per hour, you become intoxicated rapidly, which leads to a hangover because it will take days for your liver to process all the excess alcohol. A small amount of alcohol leaves the body through the skin, breath, and urine. Your BAC varies depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and other individual factors. The individual factors are your body type, age, gender, and how well your liver breaks down alcohol.

Around 20% of the alcohol passes through the stomach into the blood. If your stomach is empty the alcohol moves quickly down into the intestines. The remaining 75 to 85% of alcohol is absorbed through the small intestine into the blood. The alcohol is quickly moved around the body, and the liver acts as a filter and breaks down up to 90% of the alcohol. However, the liver is limited to how much it can break down at one time. Alcohol makes your kidneys work harder, and they produce up to 10% more urine leaving the body. The alcohol quickly moves to your brain, and effects are felt within five to ten minutes after drinking. When alcohol affects the brain it causes mood changes, which are then amplified with the more you drink.

The Abuse of Alcohol in America

On average, there are six people every day who die of alcohol poisoning in the United States, per the CDC. Around 76% of the alcohol poisoning deaths are among adults ages 35 to 64, which is three in four adults. Roughly 76% of those who die from alcohol poisoning are men, and men are more likely than women to drink alcohol excessively. Men are also more likely than women to engage in risky behavior after drinking excessively. According to the CDC, roughly 58% of men report drinking alcohol in the last 30 days, and 23% report binge drinking five times a month, averaging eight drinks per binge drinking session. In fact, men are two times more likely to binge drink than women.

The gender differences, body structure and chemistry cause women to absorb more alcohol than men. Within a woman’s body, it takes longer to break down alcohol and remove it. When women drink, they develop a higher blood-alcohol content than men. Roughly 46% of adult women reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days, per the CDC. Around 12% of adult women reported binge drinking three times a month, and 2.4% of women in the nation meet the criteria for alcohol dependence. Alcohol-related deaths are one of the nation’s most preventable causes of deaths, second only to tobacco. Per the CDC, more than 88,000 Americans die from alcohol-related deaths each year.

Alcohol kills Americans every year, creates devastating addictions, destroys lives, and is abused by people of all ages and backgrounds. For example, alcohol-impaired driving accounts for more than 30% of all driving fatalities every year. Roughly 15 million people in the country struggle with an alcohol use disorder, but less than 8% receive alcohol addiction treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 65 million Americans reported binge drinking in the past month, and teen alcohol use kills 4700 people each year. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that impaired driving costs the United States close to $2 billion dollars every year. If one of your family members is struggling with alcohol addiction, it is important to contact Newman Interventions and organize an intervention. Professional intervention is the best way to help an alcoholic realize they need treatment.


Overdose Death Rates

The U.S. government does not track death rates for every drug. However, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collects information on deaths involving many of the more commonly used drugs available through 2019 at a searchable database, called CDC Wonder. The NCHS also has 12 month-ending provisional data available by state and drug category. See Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts.

Figure 1. National Drug-Involved Overdose Deaths—Number Among All Ages, by Gender, 1999-2019. More than 70,000 Americans died from drug-involved overdose in 2019, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. The figure above is a bar and line graph showing the total number of U.S. drug overdose deaths involving any illicit or prescription opioid drug from 1999 to 2019. The bars are overlaid by lines showing the number of deaths by gender from 1999 to 2018 (Source: CDC WONDER).

Figure 2. National Drug-Involved Overdose Deaths by Specific Category—Number Among All Ages, 1999-2019. Overall, drug overdose deaths rose from 2018 to 2019 with 70,630 drug overdose deaths reported in 2019. Deaths involving other synthetic opioids other than methadone (primarily fentanyl) continued to rise with more than 36,359 overdose deaths reported in 2019. Those involving psychostimulants with abuse potential (primarily methamphetamine) also continued to increase (Source: CDC WONDER).


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