On average, 6 people died every day from alcohol poisoning in the U.S. from 2010 to 2012, says a new Vital Signs report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol poisoning is caused by drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time. Very high levels of alcohol in the body can shutdown critical areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, and body temperature, resulting in death. Alcohol poisoning deaths affect people of all ages but are most common among middle-aged adults and men.
The report says binge drinking, defined as consuming four or more drinks for women or 5 or more drinks for men in a short period of time, can lead to death from alcohol poisoning. U.S. adults who binge drink consume an average of about 8 drinks per binge, which can result in even higher levels of alcohol in the body. The more you drink the greater your risk of death.
States and communities can take steps to reduce alcohol poisoning deaths by preventing binge drinking, including:
- Partnering with police, community groups, health departments, and doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to reduce binge drinking and related harms.
- Tracking the role of alcohol in injuries and deaths.
- Supporting proven programs and policies that decrease binge drinking. States with stronger alcohol policies have less binge drinking.
Click here to read the full report.