- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

More Americans died in 2014 as the indirect result of drinking too much alcohol that any other year in the last three-and-a-half decades, new federal statistics suggest.

New data put out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that at least 30,700 Americans died last year from alcohol-induced causes, such as alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, or roughly 9.6 fatalities for every 100,000 people, The Washington Post reported this week.

Compared with statistics from 2002, a 37 percent increase has occurred with respect to the number of alcohol-induced deaths in 2002, the Post reported, with 2014 witnessing more booze-binging related fatalities than every year on record since 1979.

If statisticians took into account other alcohol-related fatalities, such as automobile accidents where the drivers were impaired by alcohol, than the number of deaths attributable to alcohol would be closer to 90,000, the Post reported citing the CDC’s statistics.

Yet while the nation attempts to curb a growing drug and opiod problem that the CDC recently declared to be an “epidemic,” the Post noted that more Americans died in 2014 from alcohol-induced illnesses than from prescription painkiller and heroin overdoses combined — 28,647.

Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor who studies alcohol consumption, told The Post that there’s a correlation between the prevalence of heavy drinking and per capita consumption, prompting him to predict that “one explanation for the growth in alcohol-related deaths is that more people are drinking more.”

Nevertheless, statistics maintained by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have placed the percentage of Americans who binge drink or partake in heavy alcohol consumption has stayed relatively stable during the last 13 years, at around 23 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.

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