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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Way more Americans are drinking themselves to death. Here's why.

By German Lopez
The Vox
Originally published on December 28, 2015

Here are two excerpts:

For one, Americans are drinking more. According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of Americans who reportedly drank in the previous month slightly increased as alcohol-induced deaths did: from 51 percent of all persons 12 and older in 2006, when deaths began to climb, to 52.7 percent in 2014.

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So for the US, boosting alcohol prices 10 percent could save as many as 6,000 lives each year. To put that in context, paying about 50 cents more for a six-pack of Bud Light could save thousands of lives. And this is a conservative estimate, since it only counts alcohol-related liver cirrhosis deaths — the number of lives saved would be higher if it accounted for deaths due to alcohol-related violence and car crashes.

Aside from raising taxes, a 2014 report from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center suggested state-run shops kept prices higher, reduced access to youth, and reduced overall levels of use. And a 2013 study from RAND of South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Program, which briefly jails people whose drinking has repeatedly gotten them in trouble with the law (like a DUI) if they fail a twice-a-day alcohol blood test, attributed a 12 percent reduction in repeat DUI arrests and a 9 percent reduction in domestic violence arrests at the county level to the program.

The article is here.
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