What Is the Mortality Rate of Alcoholism?

Discover the shocking mortality rate of alcoholism and how treatment can alter these statistics.

Understanding Alcohol-Related Mortality

Unveiling the facts behind alcohol-related mortality is crucial to understanding the depth of the problem and the urgency of addressing it. In this section, we'll look at the number of alcohol-induced deaths in the US and the trends in alcohol-related mortality.

Alcohol-Induced Deaths in the US

In the United States, there were 48,423 alcohol-induced deaths and 19,435 alcohol-related liver disease deaths in 2020, making for a total of 67,858 alcohol-related deaths. Furthermore, excessive alcohol use was responsible for about 178,000 deaths in the US during 2020–2021, averaging to 488 deaths per day. This marked a significant 29% increase from 2016–2017 when there were an estimated 138,000 deaths per year [2].

Year Alcohol-Induced Deaths Alcohol-Related Liver Disease Deaths Total Alcohol-Related Deaths
2020 48,423 19,435 67,858

Trends in Alcohol-Related Mortality

The trends in alcohol-related mortality over the years provide further insight into the problem. From 1980 to 2014, mortality rates due to alcohol use disorders in the US decreased by 8.1%. However, this decrease contrasts sharply with the increase in mortality rates due to drug use disorders, which rose by a staggering 618.3% during the same period.

Furthermore, although mortality rates due to self-harm decreased by 6.0% between 1980 and 2014, they saw an increase of 11.0% between 2000 and 2014. This highlights the complexity of the issue and the intertwining factors that contribute to overall mortality rates.

Understanding the mortality rate of alcoholism and the trends in alcohol-related mortality is the first step in developing effective strategies to address this problem. As the data indicates, alcohol misuse is a significant public health issue that requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach for its resolution.

Impact of Alcohol Use on Health

The impact of alcohol use on health is significant, with a range of both immediate and chronic health consequences. Understanding these impacts can shed light on the answer to the question, "what is the mortality rate of alcoholism?"

Negative Health Outcomes

Alcohol use is related to a wide variety of negative health outcomes, including both morbidity (disease incidence) and mortality (death). In the United States alone, there were 48,423 alcohol-induced deaths and 19,435 alcohol-related liver disease deaths in 2020, totaling 67,858 alcohol-related deaths.

Furthermore, excessive alcohol use was responsible for about 178,000 deaths in the United States during 2020–2021, marking a 29% increase from 2016–2017 when there were an estimated 138,000 deaths per year.

Year Deaths (US)
2016-2017 138,000
2020-2021 178,000

Chronic Health Consequences

Alcohol use increases the risk for many chronic health consequences, including liver diseases and certain cancers. In 2010, alcohol-attributable cancer, liver cirrhosis, and injury caused 1,500,000 deaths worldwide and 51,898,400 potential years of life lost [4].

Alcohol-related mortality is studied more frequently than alcohol-related morbidity. Over 80 studies have examined the relationship between a person's average volume of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related mortality. Varying average levels of alcohol consumption have been linked to increased and sometimes decreased risks for morbidity and mortality related to more than 60 disease conditions [5].

While there may be beneficial effects of regular light-to-moderate drinking on coronary heart disease, the overall impact of alcohol use on health is largely negative, contributing to a high mortality rate of alcoholism.

Understanding these health impacts is critical in addressing the issue of alcohol use and developing strategies to decrease alcohol-related morbidity and mortality.

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Statistics

Understanding the statistics related to Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is crucial in assessing the impact of alcoholism and the mortality rate associated with it. This section delves into the prevalence of AUD and treatment rates in the United States.

Prevalence of AUD

Alcohol Use Disorder is a significant health concern in the United States. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), more than 14 million adults ages 18 and older have AUD. This figure illustrates the widespread nature of the disorder and the number of individuals potentially at risk of the harmful health effects of excessive alcohol use.

Age Group Number of Individuals with AUD
Adults (18 and older) More than 14 million

Treatment Rates for AUD

Despite the high prevalence of AUD, treatment rates for the disorder are alarmingly low. Research indicates that only about 8% of individuals with past-year AUD in the United States receive treatment annually in an alcohol treatment facility. This low treatment rate suggests many individuals with AUD who could benefit from alcohol treatment do not receive it.

Treatment Status Percentage of Individuals with AUD
Receiving treatment annually 8%
Not receiving needed treatment 92%

The disconnect between the prevalence of AUD and the treatment rates underscores the need for enhanced awareness and access to treatment services. By improving understanding around AUD and increasing the availability of treatment options, it's possible to reduce the harm caused by this disorder and ultimately lower the mortality rate of alcoholism.

Treatment Options for Alcohol Problems

Addressing alcohol problems requires a comprehensive approach. This includes behavioral interventions and, in some cases, medications. Both options can play a critical role in helping individuals overcome their alcohol problems and reduce the mortality rate of alcoholism.

Behavioral Interventions

Behavioral interventions are a crucial part of treatment for heavy drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Evidence-based behavioral interventions include motivational interviewing (MI), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM) [6].

Motivational interviewing assists individuals in building motivation and commitment to changing their drinking behavior. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals identify situations that trigger heavy drinking and develop strategies to prevent or cope with these situations. Contingency management provides tangible rewards to encourage positive behaviors such as abstinence from alcohol.

Research shows that about one-third of people treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms a year later. Many others substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems.

However, relapse is common among people who overcome alcohol problems. Individuals with drinking problems are most likely to relapse during periods of stress or when exposed to people or places associated with past drinking.

Medications for AUD

In addition to behavioral interventions, medications can also be an effective component of treatment for AUD. The FDA has approved several medications to help people stop or reduce their drinking and prevent relapse. These include Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), including these medications, can be used to treat AUD. MAT is often combined with behavioral interventions for maximum effectiveness [6].

Medication Purpose
Naltrexone Helps to reduce heavy drinking.
Acamprosate Makes it easier to maintain abstinence.
Disulfiram Produces unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed.

These treatment options, when utilized effectively, can significantly help individuals struggling with AUD and contribute to lowering the mortality rate of alcoholism. It's important to remember that treatment should be tailored to the individual's needs, and what works for one person may not be as effective for another. It's also crucial to seek professional help when dealing with alcohol problems and not to attempt self-treatment.

Addressing Alcohol Use Disorders

In the wake of alarming statistics concerning the mortality rate of alcoholism, it is essential to explore the various interventions available to combat Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD). This section will delve into evidence-based interventions, along with an examination of the effectiveness of eHealth and mHealth strategies.

Evidence-Based Interventions

Evidence-based interventions refer to treatment methods that have been scientifically proven to be effective in treating alcohol-related disorders. They encompass a broad range of strategies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and 12-step facilitation therapy, among others.

These interventions focus on changing an individual's mindset towards alcohol use, helping them understand the consequences of their actions, and providing them with the tools and strategies to manage their alcohol consumption. The effectiveness of these interventions can vary based on a multitude of factors, including the individual's commitment to recovery, the severity of the AUD, and the presence of co-occurring mental health conditions.

Effectiveness of eHealth and mHealth

With the advancement of technology, the field of addiction treatment has witnessed the emergence of eHealth and mHealth interventions. Delivered via digital platforms such as smartphones, these interventions have shown promise in improving treatment outcomes and reaching individuals who may not have access to traditional treatment settings.

eHealth and mHealth interventions provide accessible and convenient support for individuals seeking help for their alcohol use. They can offer a range of services such as self-assessment tools, personalized feedback, coping strategies, and peer support. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of these interventions in reducing alcohol consumption and addressing alcohol-related problems.

Intervention Type Effectiveness
Traditional Evidence-Based Interventions Varies based on individual factors
eHealth and mHealth interventions Proven effective in reducing alcohol consumption and addressing alcohol-related problems

It's important to note that while these digital interventions are promising, they are not intended to replace traditional treatment methods. Instead, they should be viewed as a valuable adjunct to conventional therapies, providing additional support and resources for individuals struggling with AUD.

In conclusion, addressing AUD requires a multifaceted approach, with interventions tailored to the individual's unique needs and circumstances. Both traditional evidence-based interventions and innovative digital solutions can play a crucial role in helping individuals overcome AUD and reduce the mortality rate of alcoholism.

Global Impact of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption has a significant impact on both individual and societal health. Understanding the global implications of this prevalent issue can provide insights into the disease burden from alcohol use and highlight the disparities in treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUD).

Disease Burden from Alcohol Use

Alcohol consumption is prevalent worldwide, with 33% of the global population being current drinkers in 2016. Heavy drinking and AUD are major public health concerns and are associated with numerous adverse health consequences, morbidity, and mortality worldwide. Alcohol use is a leading global cause of disease burden and any level of alcohol consumption is potentially harmful to all-cause mortality [6].

The significant disease burden from alcohol use, coupled with the increasing prevalence of AUD and high-risk drinking, underscores the critical need for effective interventions and treatments for alcohol-related problems.

Treatment Disparities for AUD

Despite the significant disease burden from alcohol use, treatment disparities for AUD are prevalent. Only about 8% of individuals with past-year AUD in the United States receive treatment annually in an alcohol treatment facility [6]. Many individuals with AUD who could benefit from alcohol treatment do not receive it, highlighting the gap between the need for and access to AUD treatment.

There are evidence-based behavioral interventions that can be used to treat heavy drinking and AUD, including motivational interviewing (MI), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM). Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), including medications such as disulfiram, naltrexone, acamprosate, and nalmefene, can also be used to treat AUD [6].

Furthermore, there is a growing evidence base for the effectiveness of eHealth and mHealth interventions in reducing alcohol consumption and addressing alcohol-related problems. eHealth and mHealth interventions delivered via smartphones have demonstrated acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption among individuals with AUD.

These interventions and treatments, however, are not consistently available or accessible to all individuals with AUD, further exacerbating the treatment disparities. There is a critical need for efforts to address these disparities and ensure equal access to effective treatment for all individuals struggling with AUD.


[1]: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohol-topics/alcohol-facts-and-statistics/alcohol-related-emergencies-and-deaths-united-states

[2]: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/features/excessive-alcohol-deaths.html

[3]: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2674665

[4]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3908708/

[5]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6676700/

[6]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6883141/

[7]: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help

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