Missoula Measures - Adult Alcohol Use
Why this topic
The toll the heavy use of alcohol use exacts on society, individual health, and the economy is staggering. Whether we as a community look at injuries, traffic crashes, family dynamics, violence, or lack of success in school or the work place, alcohol is frequently lurking in the corners of the picture.
Even moderate alcohol use can increase the risk of accidental injury. Nationwide, alcohol is related to:
- 30% - 40% of traffic crashes
- 50% of motorcycle crashes
- 40% of drownings
- 43% of assaults
- 30% of injuries in the home (falls, burns, etc)
- 30% of suicide deaths
- 15% of work-related injuries
- 43% of violence/trauma injuries treated in US emergency rooms
- 20% - 25% of hospital admissions for an injury are
"Accidents and Injuries from Alcohol." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. 2nd Ed. Ed. Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt. Macmillan-Thomson Gale, 2001. eNotes.com. 2006. 6 Apr, 2011
In regard to basic needs, people with alcohol addiction have a difficult time holding down a job, making sure the rent gets paid, pursuing an education, remaining safe, etc.
Nationally, an estimated 75,000 Americans die each year because of excessive alcohol use, with drinking-related diseases cutting their lives short by an average of 30 years, according to 2004 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 45% of these died in 2001 from alcohol-related diseases like cirrhosis of the liver and cancer, while the remaining 55% died in alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents.
Chronic diseases associated with alcohol use or abuse: Cirrhosis, injuries, crime, depression/suicide, traffic crashes, high blood pressure, and breast cancer.
Not well. The federal government estimates that 13% of the nation’s adult population has a problem with excessive use of alcohol. Missoula Blue Ribbon Commission II Of course, not everyone who occasionally drinks excessively falls into that category.
Binge drinking was chosen as an indicator partly because of the kinds of problems that tend to follow from a binge drinker’s impaired thinking — traffic crashes, unsafe sex, displays of temper — whether or not the drinker has an ongoing problem with alcohol. Men (22%) are more likely to binge drink than women (7%). Montana BRFSS 1998
Montana 18 & Over Binge Alcohol Use
All respondents 18 and older who report having five or more drinks on an occasion, one or more times in the past month.
Heavy Drinkers: Male > 2/day; Female
> 1/day; Binge > 4/day
Missoula info will be updated in 2013
Demographics of binge drinkers
According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, nationally:
- 23% of men and 11% of women binge drink
- almost 30% of adults age 18-34 binge drink
- at age 35 it drops to 20%
- fewer high school drop-outs binge drink than graduates or those with college
- as income increases, so does binge drinking (<$25,000 = 16%; > $50,000 = 20%)
|Healthy People 2020 Target|
|Reduce percent of adults binge drinking in past month||27%||24.3%|
MUSAP Report 2011 (Missoula Underage Substance Abuse Prevention)
Cost to society
Society pays vast sums of money to contend with the damage done by its intoxicated citizens. The payments are made in the form of prisons, insurance premiums, loss of life, and damaged property. And the costs of — and to — damaged families cannot be calculated. Alcohol was involved in one out of every four family problems and one out of three failed marriages. IUCSD Prevention File, Spring 1994
Risks associated with excessive alcohol use
Research has shown that alcohol abuse leads to:
- decreased fertility
- decreased sexual function
- increased aggression
- increased risk of suicide, traffic fatalities, sexually transmitted infections, assault
- increased risk of various cancers
- increased memory loss and potential heart damage
- increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature births
- increased risk of birth defects for children born to drinking mothers
The costs associated with excessive alcohol use - CDC, 2013
In 2006, those costs averaged $1.9 Billion, per state.
“Excessive alcohol use has devastating impacts on individuals, families, communities, and the economy,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “In addition to injury, illness, disease, and death, it costs our society billions of dollars through reduced work productivity, increased criminal justice expenses, and higher healthcare costs. Effective prevention programs can support people in making wise choices about drinking alcohol.”
Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for an average of 80,000
deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost in the United States
each year. Binge drinking is responsible for over half of these deaths
and two-thirds of the years of life lost.
Binge drinking, which is defined as consuming five or more drinks on an occasion for men or four or more drinks on an occasion for women, was responsible for more than 70 percent of excessive alcohol use related costs.
Researchers believe that the study’s findings are underestimated because it did not consider a number of other costs, such as those due to pain and suffering by the excessive drinker or others who were affected by the drinking.
Web of Addictions - provides accurate information about alcohol and other drug addictions.
Healthy People 2020 has extensive background on national public health status of this topic and many others.