The Alcohol Crisis In America Has Been Overshadowed By Opioids, But Can No Longer Be Ignored
In fact, many people use alcohol as either a substitute or a compliment to other kinds of drugs
In fact, alcohol is the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the United States, with an estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) dying from alcohol-related causes every year. Further, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2% of adults over the age of 18 (more then 15 million) and 2.5% of 12-17 year olds (more than 600,00) have an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
However, new graphics created by the American Addiction Centers’ River Oaks Treatment facility show just how significant – and different – state level use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can be. Using CDC data from 2013-2017, the facility looked at per capita death rates from drugs and alcohol, tracking the percentage change from both causes for each year as well as the overall death rate.
However, when the maps are overlapped and both drugs and alcohol are taken into consideration, there are some surprising findings that appear related to the most deaths per capita. First, West Virginia moves into a category by itself, with more than 70 deaths per 100,000 people. New Mexico and Ohio are not far behind, indicating that many in these states are using both drugs and alcohol.
The biggest takeaway from the new release is that while many people and politicians like to blame America’s drug crisis on opioids alone, there are other factors at play. And it’s imperative that we include alcohol in the conversation.