Alcohol-related deaths continue to pose a major public health problem in the United States, where drinking contributes to an estimated 95,000 deaths annually and is listed as the third-highest cause of preventable deaths in the nation. Though the SHADAC and State Health Compare definition of "alcohol-involved deaths" is more limited in scope (e.g., only deaths that are 100% attributable to alcohol), the number of alcohol-involved deaths has still risen significantly over the past two decades, increasing by 49% overall between 2006 and 2019. Ongoing surveillance of alcohol-involved death rates can help identify which populations are at heightened risk of dangerous alcohol use patterns leading to growing alcohol-involved death ratesand inform strategic interventions and campaigns to address this issue.
State Health Compare provides annual, state-level rates of alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 people based on data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WONDER Database. Estimates reflect deaths from various alcohol-induced causes, such as alcoholic gastritis, alcoholic liver disease, degeneration of the nervous system due to alcohol, and accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol.
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A 2021 SHADAC brief analyzes high-risk alcohol consumption behaviors that can lead to death and other alcohol-involved diseases. The findings presented in this brief show significant differences among demographic subgroups in the prevalence of binge drinking and heavy drinking.
This blog presents a series of figures that show increasing rates of drug overdose deaths and alcohol-involved deaths from the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic (2019-2020), both at the state and national levels. The figures are based on SHADAC’s analysis of vital statistics data from the CDC WONDER system.