CDC Reports Six People Die Each Day from Alcohol Poisoning

By Brent McCluskey 01/15/15

Binge drinking is not just for college kids.

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Alcohol poisoning is affecting more than just college students, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report found that an average of six people die every day from alcohol poisoning, and 76% of them are ages 35 to 64. Meanwhile, three out of every four of the people dying from alcohol poisoning are men who average a whopping eight drinks per binge episode.

"We were surprised that these deaths were as concentrated among middle-aged adults as they were," Bob Brewer said, leader of the alcohol program at CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "If we could eliminate binge drinking, we could dramatically reduce the number of deaths from alcohol poisoning."

Based on death certificate data from 2010 to 2012, the new report found that 2,221 people in America die each year from alcohol poisoning, but officials say this number is likely higher. Though most are Caucasian, American Indians, and Alaskan natives had the highest rate of deaths per million population with 46.5 per million in Alaska, while Alabama scored the lowest with 5.3 per million.

Around 38 million U.S. adults report binge drinking roughly four times a month, and when middle-aged people binge, they are more likely to consume more booze than their younger and even older counterparts, leading to higher death rates.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming four drinks for a woman and five drinks in around two to three hour time frame, and most binge drinkers are dependent or addicted to alcohol. High concentrations of alcohol damages the brain and affects breathing, heart rate, and body temperature potentially leading to death.

"The key point is this," said CDC's principal deputy director Ileana Arias, "the more you drink, the greater you are at risk of poisoning and death." The health effects of prolonged drinking also cause heart disease, liver disease, and certain cancers.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.