A study by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) covering alcohol-related deaths from 2015-2019 shows it’s the cause of one in five deaths among adults ages 20-49. In addition, the study’s findings show that one in eight deaths among adults 20-64 years old were linked to excessive alcohol use. Frequent binge drinking is one sign of an alcohol use disorder. The CDC estimates that one out of every six adults binge drinks, with a total of four drinks on one occasion for women and five drinks for men considered binging. If you recognize signs of an alcohol use disorder in yourself or someone you love, medically-supervised detox and treatment are recommended.
Estimated Deaths Attributable to Excessive Alcohol Use
JAMA looked at deaths related to excessive drinking among adults and found some startling results. The study focused on 2015-2019 and concluded that one in five adults ages 20-49 died prematurely due to excessive drinking. In the larger age group of 20-64, one in eight adults died from excessive drinking.
These alcohol-related deaths come from nearly six dozen types of causes. Heart disease, cancer, liver disease, and unintentional injury are among the most common types of death connected to excessive drinking. The JAMA study pinpoints some additional risks for drinkers, too. The study identifies three leading causes of alcohol-attributable deaths for both men and women aged 20-34: other poisonings, motor vehicle traffic crashes, and homicide. In the age range of 35-49 years, the three leading causes of premature death are other poisonings, alcoholic liver disease, and motor vehicle traffic crashes.
The JAMA results also show state figures of estimated deaths attributed to alcohol. In Florida, the percentage of adults ages 20-34 who die from excessive drinking was 25.6%, with 13.7% of deaths in the age range of 20-64. In Texas, the percentage of adults ages 20-34 who die from excessive drinking was 25.8%, with 12.6% of deaths in the age range of 20-64.
Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder
The Mayo Clinic lists a variety of signs and symptoms to help you identify an alcohol use disorder. As you read the following list to yourself, see which ones apply to you.
● I am unable to limit the amount of alcohol I drink.
● I want to cut down on how much I drink.
● I have made unsuccessful attempts to cut down on drinking.
● I spend a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol or recovering from alcohol use.
● I feel a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol.
● I fail to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home due to repeated alcohol use.
● I continue to drink alcohol even though I know it’s causing physical, social, work or relationship problems.
● I have given up social and work activities and hobbies to use alcohol.
● I use alcohol in situations where it’s not safe, such as when driving.
● I have developed a tolerance to alcohol so I need more to feel its effect.
● I have experienced withdrawal symptoms when I don’t drink and I drink to avoid these symptoms.
● I’ve had periods of blackouts when I don’t remember events.
When to Seek Treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder
You don’t have to wait for drinking to affect every area of your life to seek treatment. If you’re noticing alcohol use has a negative impact on you in any way, treatment can help you avoid the problem worsening over time. In most cases, an untreated drinking problem will begin to touch every area of your life and the lives of friends, family members, coworkers, and even people in your community.
If your ability to stay employed, maintain relationships, remain financially independent, or protect your health and well-being has been compromised by excessive drinking, don’t delay in seeking treatment. As withdrawal from alcohol on your own can be life-threatening, detoxing under medical supervision at a hospital or another medical facility is essential. You may want to detox only, but facing an alcohol use disorder directly will require some form of ongoing treatment. It can come in the form of outpatient sessions, a residential stay, sober living, or a combination of forms over time.
If you choose an inpatient treatment program, consider each step of your stay as a goal of its own. The first goal is completing a medical detox. The second goal will be preparing yourself to return to your daily routine equipped with the awareness of your drinking problem and the tools to protect your sobriety.
Another factor to be aware of in perpetuating a drinking problem is unmet mental health needs. Getting sober without addressing an underlying mental health condition (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) will create challenges in avoiding relapse in the future. A program offering dual diagnosis treatment is recommended for anyone with a co-occurring mental health disorder.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.
For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.