Alcohol-Related Deaths Among Women Are on The Rise
A recent analysis conducted at the University of Washington by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that the overall number of alcohol-related deaths in the United States rose 35% between 2007 and 2017. While the number of alcohol-related deaths for men rose 29% the amount of alcohol-related deaths for women during that same time frame rose an alarming 67%.
With all of the attention that is being placed on the current opioid-overdose epidemic, little to no attention is being put on the fact that, according to data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), alcohol kills on average 16,000 more people per year than opioids.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every year, an average of 88,000 people in the United States die from circumstances related to alcohol abuse. Because alcohol is essentially a toxin there are many ways that it destroys the body and the mind. There are several different types of deaths that can occur because of alcohol including, but not limited to: alcohol poisoning, liver cirrhosis, cancer, pancreatitis, suicide, driving under the influence, etc.
Between a combination of increased alcohol advertising aimed at women and the high level of social acceptance for binge drinking, more and more women are drinking alcohol on a regular basis. Drinking a glass or two of wine each night while cooking dinner has turned into an acceptable coping mechanism for the daily stresses of life. In reality, the increased amounts of alcohol abuse are actually a side effect of an increased amount of underlying problems.
Far too many adults are having difficulty finding or applying healthy coping mechanisms in their lives. The increased amounts of stress amongst adults have not been met with an increased awareness of how to cope in a healthy manner. Far too many people are simply trying to drink away their problems rather than handle them in a non-destructive way. People justify drinking on a regular basis by saying things like they “deserve to have a break,” “being a parent is hard,” “work is stressful,” and so on. While all of these statements may be based in truth, they can still lead to something that is destructive on many levels.
People need to start asking themselves whether or not a few drinks per day are worth the increased risks of developing cancer, alcohol-induced dementia, liver cirrhosis or organ failure. What is more stressful—learning a new coping mechanism or dealing with the negative side effects of alcohol? Learning new coping mechanisms is certainly more difficult in the short term but will lead to less stress in the long run.
Nobody plans on developing organ failure because of their drinking but it is a sad reality for far too many people that this does occur. Society has been lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to drinking but many people are beginning to wake up to the reality that there are very real consequences to overindulging when it comes to alcohol.