Alcohol Poisoning Deaths In the United States Reach Six Per Day

Signs of alcohol poisoning
Signs of alcohol poisoning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you notice the headline on alcohol poisoning?

If you didn’t notice the January 6, 2015, headline “alcohol poisoning kills six Americans every day,”  then there is a good chance you will still catch one of these headlines, as more and more news outlets are continuing to report on this news. (See Related Articles below).

Of course, there is more to this headline and we will provide the details, but it is amazing that more people aren’t motivated by this headline to do something. Keep in mind the headline says alcohol poisoning, not alcoholism.

CDC Vitalsigns™ reports on alcohol poisoning deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for January 9, 2015, included statistics for Alcohol Poisoning Deaths – United States 2010-2012 (See page 1238). This report, in turn, became featured in the January 2015 CDC’s Vitalsigns™.

Here are some highlights of the report:

  • 76% of alcohol poisoning deaths are among adults ages 35 to 64
  • 76% of those who die from alcohol poisoning are men
  • Most alcohol poisoning deaths are among non-Hispanic whites
  • A smaller share of the US population, American Indians/Alaska Natives have the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million of any of the races
  • Alaska has the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million, while Alabama has the least
  • Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) was identified as a factor in 30% of alcohol poisoning deaths.


These are preventable deaths…

The truth is at least 70% of these deaths are easily preventable with education and vigilance. Here is what the CDC recommends:

  • Avoid binge drinking – if you do drink alcohol stay within the dietary guidelines of no more than 1 drink per day for woman and 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Avoid drinks with unknown alcohol content.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
  • Remember caffeine can mask alcohol’s effects and cause people to drink more than they intend
  • Get help for anyone experiencing life-threatening signs of alcohol poisoning

Most important is if you feel you do have a problem with alcohol or one of your loved ones may have a problem, talk to your primary care provider. These deaths are preventable.

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