Information from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)
In an effort to reduce preventable chronic diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified four main risk factors:
- Tobacco use
- Poor nutrition
- Lack of physical activity
- Excessive alcohol use
The CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) states that “excessive alcohol use causes 1 in 10 total deaths among working-age adults every year.” This equates to an estimated 88,000 deaths related to excessive alcohol use. Not only is excessive alcohol use deadly it is also costly. Heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking costs hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.
Binge drinking, defined as drinking 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for men and 5 or more drinks for women, accounts for half of the alcohol-related deaths. It is also responsible for “three-quarters of the costs.”
Excessive alcohol use is a serious problem in the United States and across the world. Not only is it a leading cause of preventable death; it can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and cancer.
Jurisdictions around the world are coming together to help combat the effects of excessive alcohol use. Many courts are now helping to address the underlying problems of addiction and dependence when an alcohol-related crime is committed. The focus on treatment instead of mere punishment has helped to reduce alcohol-related crime in some areas.
As outlined by the CDC, excessive alcohol use remains a major risk factor for preventable chronic disease and other catastrophic health problems. The CDC continues to provide data and conduct research on the issue, providing it to health care providers, law enforcement, and the public at large in hopes of reducing death rates for preventable diseases.