A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that an average of six people die each day from alcohol poisoning. The numbers are based on death certificate data from 2010 to 2012.
Death by alcohol typically occurs when one engages in “binge drinking”, or excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages like wine, spirits, or beer. The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in under three hours for men, four or more alcoholic beverages in three hours for women.
The CDC says this type of drinking places incredible pressure on the liver, which must filter alcohol (a toxin) out of a person’s bloodstream. During excessive drinking episodes, however, not all alcohol can be processed by the liver. Signs of alcohol poisoning include excessive vomiting, extremely slurred speech, and loss of consciousness.
Many people associate this kind of alcohol consumption with young people and particularly college students. However, the CDC says that most deaths associated with excessive alcohol consumption involved middle-age people, particularly men.
In fact, the CDC found that men aged 35 to 64 were the most likely to die from alcohol poisoning, with this age and gender group accounting for more than three-quarters of all alcohol poisoning deaths.
The report also showed the remarkable cost of alcohol abuse: according to the CDC, accidents associated with excessive alcohol consumption cost approximately $223.5 billion each year.