Modelling Study Shows Disturbing Trend in Global Alcohol Exposure
A modelling study published in The Lancet shows global alcohol intake trends and forecasts alcohol exposure up to 2030. The study indicates that not only did the prevalence of lifetime abstinence decrease from 1900 to 2017, but the prevalence of current drinking increased during the same timeframe. Additionally, forecasts indicate for both trends to continue through 2030. The study, funded by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Who Collaborating Center for Addiction and Mental Health, predicts that the proportion of current drinkers could increase to 50% by 2030 and the prevalence of heavy episodic drinkers to increase to 23% in 2030.
Heavy alcohol consumption can have a serious impact on a person’s health. The National Institute on Alcohol Use and Alcoholism shows that excessive drinking can directly affect the following:
- Heart (including stroke and high blood pressure)
- Liver (including alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis)
- Pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Cancer (increase in a risk for head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer)
- Immune system
In addition to potential health risks, excessive alcohol use is directly related to an increase in traffic fatalities. Courts across the country and the globe have attempted to combat the devastating consequences that alcohol can have including requiring continuous alcohol monitoring and severe penalties for failing to comply with court orders.