A Sobering New Report on Alcohol-Related Deaths

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

With Fourth of July just around the corner, Americans are gearing up for celebrations and fireworks. Though alcohol often flows freely at Independence Day parties, the negative effects of these beverages are felt year-round.

A sobering new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drives that point home, noting that excessive drinking is now the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

The study was conducted using data from 2006 through 2010. According to the CDC, one out of every 10 deaths in the United States is caused by alcohol. That equals almost 88,000 deaths per year. The authors go on to estimate alcohol abuse shortened the lives of those who died by at least 30 years.

“One out of every 10 deaths in the United States is caused by alcohol.

Chronic Alcohol Abuse vs. Binge Drinking

The CDC’s report showed some startling differences between long-term alcohol abuse and the trend of binge drinking. Chronic alcohol abuse is defined as 15 or more drinks per week for men and eight or more drinks per week for women. Binge drinking, on the other hand, is defined as men who have five or more drinks at one time or women who consume four or more drinks at one time.

From all accounts, it would appear that binge drinking is on the rise. While excessive alcohol abuse costs the country about $223.5 billion each year, binge drinking accounts for a staggering 70 percent of those costs. In fact, the CDC released a 2012 report that found an estimated 38 million Americans were binge drinkers, most of them between the ages of 18 to 34.

Chronic alcohol abuse is defined as 15 or more drinks per week for men and eight or more drinks per week for women.

“It is striking to see most of the costs of excessive drinking in states and D.C. are due to binge drinking, which is reported by about 18 percent of U.S. adults,” report author Dr. Robert Brewer, alcohol program lead at CDC, said.

Important Factors to Consider

There are some obvious factors at play when evaluating the effects of alcohol abuse and binge drinking. Two of those include:

Gender: According to the CDC’s report, men make up 71 percent of all alcohol-related deaths. Males tend to drink more, drive while intoxicated, and are involved in homicides. While men face these risks, women are more likely to suffer alcohol-related illnesses. Females easily absorb alcohol into the bloodstream, quickly increasing blood alcohol levels. Pregnant women face added risks, including babies experiencing fetal alcohol disorders or sudden infant death syndrome.

Location: Some states have a much bigger issue with alcohol-related deaths than do others. For example, New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming show an average 16 percent of deaths in the 20-to-64 age range are caused by alcohol. States like Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Indiana, on the other hand, experience much lower deaths caused by alcohol.


If you or someone you love is struggling from alcohol abuse, take action and learn about alcoholism treatment options to fit your needs. Call 1-888-366-3510 and speak with a helpful recovery professional today.

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