Alcohol Abuse Causes One In Twenty Five Deaths

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is now found to cause one in twenty five deaths worldwide. A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada (CAMH) shows that the increased incidence of alcohol related deaths is primarily attributed to more women consuming alcohol. Alcohol addiction occurs mostly in younger people. The study targets alcohol as a major contributor to disease worldwide.

According to Dr J├╝rgen Rehm and colleagues, alcohol abuse disables more men than women. Today, we know more than ever about which strategies can effectively and cost-effectively control alcohol-related harms. Provided that our public policy makers act on these practical strategies expeditiously, we could see an enormous impact in reducing damage", says Rehm. The study revealed that one in ten deaths in Europe is directly related to alcohol. Alcohol consumption is higher in Europe compared to North America.


Deaths related to alcohol abuse included cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, heart disease and injuries. The authors say, "Globally, the effect of alcohol on burden of disease is about the same size as that of smoking in 2000, but it is relatively greatest in emerging economies. Global consumption is increasing, especially in the most populous countries of India and China," a contributing factor to the increase in deaths associated with alcohol.

The study revealed average alcohol intake is seven drinks per week per person globally. One standard drink equates to a can of beer, one glass or wine or one shot of liquor. The researchers propose alcohol restrictions and increased screening and intervention for individuals at high risk for alcohol abuse to reduce the incidence of alcohol related deaths globally.

Gail Czukar, CAMH's executive vice-president, Policy, Education and Health Promotion says "There are significant social, health and economic problems caused by alcohol abuse, but research gives us sound, proven interventions that governments and health providers can use to address these problems." The group proposes that decreasing the density of alcohol retailers in given areas, pricing interventions, and a focus on curbing violence in licensed facilities could help decrease the burden of alcohol related disease and death.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health