Person Drinking Alcohol

According to CDC data, deaths due to alcohol consumption in the US rose during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to data released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 49,000 Americans died from alcohol-related causes in 2020.

In recent decades, the alcohol-induced death rate has steadily increased. However, it rose 26% between 2019-2020 – nearly the same increase in one year as in the previous decade. The 2020 alcohol-related death rate was 13 per 100,000 people. This is an increase from 10.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2019.

Marvin Ventrell (chief executive officer of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers) stated, “What’s bigger than crisis?” “What was already a crisis has exploded.”

More than half of all alcohol-induced deaths occurred in 2020 due to alcoholic liver disease. Mental and behavioral disorders resulting from alcohol use were also major causes. This analysis excludes deaths in which alcohol use was a factor, but it is not the only one.

According to the CDC, this includes deaths that are not directly related to alcohol abuse, such as heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries, like car accidents. This nearly triples the number of alcohol-related deaths. This would make the number of alcohol-related death well above the number of drug overdose deaths that reached record levels during Covid-19.

Americans consumed more alcohol during the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts say this created an environment conducive to alcohol abuse.

“We know that people tend to drink more after traumatic events such as 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina. “The pandemic has been, we all know, a major stressful event in our lives,” George F. Koob director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

“With numerous studies, we have found that around 25% of the population has increased their alcohol intake. These individuals were those who were trying to manage stress. Many people who drink to deal with stress will eventually develop an alcohol abuse disorder.

Experts say alcohol is easy to access and accept by many people.

“If a substance has a harmful effect, the more access it has, the more harm it will cause.” What is the most easily accessible substance? Alcohol. What substance has the lowest social stigma about its use? Ventrell stated that alcohol is the most stigmatizing substance.

“You might think Joe drinks too much, but that’s Joe. But, no one says Joe uses too much meth but he’s still a good father.”

Experts agree that the effects of alcohol abuse are less severe than those of other drugs.

Dr. James Latronica is a family medicine physician with addiction medicine services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Psychiatric Hospital.

According to the CDC, excessive alcohol consumption in 2020 was most common among middle-aged men. Men aged 55-64 had the highest death rates. This age group saw nearly 60 deaths per 100,000, which is more than four times the overall rate. The death rates for women in this age group were three times higher than those for men, but they were still the highest.

The death rates for young men under 45 increased the most, while women aged 25-44 saw the greatest increases. This further supports the idea that alcohol is causing more health problems for younger people than ever before. A second study, published this week, found that 1 in 5 deaths in the US from 20-49 years before the Covid-19 epidemic was due to excessive drinking.

In all ages, alcohol-related deaths were twice as common in men than in women. However, the gap has narrowed in 2020.

Experts also attribute some of the shift to the pandemic.

Koob stated that there is a link between mental health and the pandemic. The pandemic is likely to make it more difficult for women to feel anxiety and depression.

He said that women are more susceptible to the harmful effects of alcohol, including liver disease and mental health interactions.

Experts believe that excessive alcohol abuse will compound the problem and lead to more alcohol-induced deaths over the years.

However, better access to treatment may help reduce the loss. Although screening rates have improved, experts claim that less than 10% of people suffering from an alcohol abuse disorder are receiving the treatment they require.

Latronica stated that some people may be concerned about their alcohol use. He said that alcohol can lead to a variety of problems. However, it is much easier to deal with them when you have a conversation about them, which can be done at a primary care visit.

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