More Americans died from alcohol abuse last year than in 35 years, according to new findings, which showed that more than 30,700 people died in the United States in 2014 from alcohol-related causes, such as poisoning and cirrhosis. There were 9.6 deaths from alcohol for every 100,000 Americans last year — a rate that has increased 37 percent since 2002.
The data does not account for those killed in drunken driving accidents or other homicides where alcohol was involved. Duke University professor Phillip J. Cook told the Washington Post that alcohol consumption per capita has been on the rise since the late 1990s.
“Since the prevalence of heavy drinking tends to follow closely with per capita consumption, it is likely that one explanation for the growth in alcohol-related deaths is that more people are drinking more,” Cook told the Washington Post.
Women have reported to be drinking more regularly in recent years. The rate of women drinking at least once a month increased from 47.9 percent in 2002 to 51.9 percent in 2014. Binge drinking is also on the rise with women — 17.4 percent of women reported drinking five or more drinks on at least one occasion in 2014, up from 15.7 percent in 2002.
Alcohol poisoning accounts for a portion of the deaths in the new data. Six people died every day from alcohol poisoning in the United States from 2010 to 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously reported. Around 76 percent of people killed from alcohol poisoning are men, according to the January 2015 report. Around 2,200 Americans die from binge drinking each year.