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CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the america's-real-national-pastime dept.

Medicine 454

An anonymous reader writes: According to new research from the CDC, 9.8% of deaths in working-age adults (22-64 years old) in the U.S. from 2006 to 2010 were "attributable to excessive drinking." This makes excessive drinking the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. The study included deaths from medical conditions, such as liver disease and alcohol-induced strokes, as well as deaths from alcohol-related events, like car accidents, homicides, and fall injuries. However, it did not account for cases where excessive alcohol consumption was a factor in contracting conditions like AIDS, pneumonia, and tuberculosis, so the count may actually be higher. Many western states with low population spread out over a large area showed the highest alcohol-related death rates, while states from the east coast and the midwest tended to be on the lower end of the spectrum. The study also tracked years of life lost, which is higher for alcohol-related deaths than for most other types of death. Researcher Robert Brewer said, "One of the issues with alcohol that is particularly tragic is the extent to which it gets people in the prime of their lives."

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So....far more than guns (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332801)

Guess we better reinstate prohibition. Oh and it must cause health problems, so it needs banning like soda too. Oh yeah, lets not forget "for the children"

Re:So....far more than guns (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#47332931)

Well to be fair, and I am 100% pro gun, that is a false equivalency. Typically those killed by guns are not the gun owner itself, where as those killed by alcohol, soda and the like is are the drinkers themselves.

Re:So....far more than guns (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332997)

False. The majority of gun deaths in the US are suicide [pewresearch.org] . Didn't you know that? Seriously?

Re:So....far more than guns (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47333003)

Whoa. Hold your horses there pal. They are most likely to be the gun owner(and their immediate family). It gets pretty extreme in some specific measurable cases. People like to frame it in terms of murder, since that appeals to more peoples' moral systems more directly. But suicide is the single biggest measurable concern vis-a-vis firearms.

For example: for the first year after purchasing your first handgun, that's the single most likely cause of death in your life, approaching almost 50% of deaths.

I feel like it would be extraordinarily intellectually dishonest of me to accept handguns as public health issue, and not alcohol. They are both serious concerns and need to be acknowledged as they are, not stewed in pots of rhetoric.

Re:So....far more than guns (0)

knightghost (861069) | about 4 months ago | (#47333107)

Blaming firearms for suicide is blaming firearms for mental illness. Guns are a tool, nothing more, nothing less. Tools don't instigate anything. Going down that blame road does a severe disservice to what can actually help people in distress.

Re:So....far more than guns (2, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47333199)

Tools for death cause death in exactly the same way that tools for construction cause construction:

It wasn't nearly as easy without them, and we know how much firearm prevalence increases suicide prevalence. The two variables are actually related, and the disconnect you allege is purely hypothetical, and isn't worth discussing in a reality with measurable effects.

Naturally, no one is claiming suicide is a single variable event, but firearm ownership is an actual major variable.

Re:So....far more than guns (-1, Flamebait)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47333379)

Tools for death cause death in exactly the same way that tools for construction cause construction:

It wasn't nearly as easy without them, and we know how much firearm prevalence increases suicide prevalence

Except, you know - Japan.

And don't give me that "fuh fuh culture fuh fuh" crap, we're talking pure statistics here, and the numbers say increased gun ownership does not equate to increased suicide rates.

Re:So....far more than guns (1, Troll)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47333463)

Okay.

Point the first, you're an idiot.

I acknowledged full well that suicide is multivariate. Japan has a bit more of those other variables. Suddenly switching to simplistic 1 dimensional analysis in order to cherry pick a one nation datapoint that suits your case isn't clever argumentation. It's intentional duplicitousness. Don't be that guy. Being that guy makes you an idiot.

Point the second, one can minimize the effect of these other variables by analyzing within populations to control for other known variables. This is called science.

Here is one such study. [lww.com] There are more if you can invent any variables you think need to be more adequately controlled for.

Point the third, no matter what the data say about the relationships, none of that calls for a specific course of action, and contesting relatively reasonable facts doesn't actually help the case you want to make, which is almost certainly about what kind of gun control is acceptable. It just helps you look ill-informed.

Re:So....far more than guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333449)

Tools for death cause death in exactly the same way that tools for construction cause construction:

It wasn't nearly as easy without them, and we know how much firearm prevalence increases suicide prevalence. The two variables are actually related, and the disconnect you allege is purely hypothetical, and isn't worth discussing in a reality with measurable effects.

Naturally, no one is claiming suicide is a single variable event, but firearm ownership is an actual major variable.

What you say and the whole alcohol death thing, all of it sounds like natural selection to me.

The only part i have a problem with is when a drunk driver kills a responsible adult. and when a street thug uses a gun to victimize someone that obeys the laws and so wasn't allowed to carry their own.

all the rest of it is natural selection. do not interfere. i know it seems sometimes like you really should interfere, but it is unwise and has never ended well. resist the temptation to preserve stupid. stupid spreads and multiplies. it contains itself if not actively preserved.

Re:So....far more than guns (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333209)

" Tools don't instigate anything. " Having _this_ tool (handguns) increases the likelihood of things being instigated that lead to the death of a loved one, statistics show.

Your rhetorical position makes common sense and I agree, but when you look at the statistics you see it does actually have a very strong correlation.

(And I'm a gun owner all my adult life, so there's that.)

Re:So....far more than guns (2)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about 4 months ago | (#47333217)

The comment isn't blaming the guns for the suicide. It's stating the fact that if you buy a gun, you are likely to use it to kill yourself.

Re:So....far more than guns (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333235)

Blaming firearms for suicide is blaming firearms for mental illness. Guns are a tool, nothing more, nothing less. Tools don't instigate anything. Going down that blame road does a severe disservice to what can actually help people in distress.

Cigarettes are a tool. Highly addictive drugs are a tool. Cars are a tool. Just because something is a tool does not mean it should be immune to regulation and have limited access.

The amount of regulation and consideration is driven by the stats. And, as illustrated by the parent, some of the stats surrounding gun ownership is pretty grim. Not all of them mind you (not arguing that). But with that in mind, knightghost's reasoning is perfectly valid.

Re:So....far more than guns (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47333487)

>Blaming firearms for suicide is blaming firearms for mental illness

No it's not, though the gun-fondlers will make that claim. Guns make suicide much too easy, which denies these people a chance to recover from their depression.

Re:So....far more than guns (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47333223)

Are there major healthcare costs associated with suicide by handgun? If someone wants to kill themselves, how is it society's concern?

Re:So....far more than guns (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47333261)

Because people have responsibilities. Or do you think that orphans never happen from suicides? Or that there isn't also a risk to others in that household? I mean, come on.

We don't live in the disconnected libertarian fantasy land, where no one affects anyone else.

Re:So....far more than guns (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 months ago | (#47333511)

For example: for the first year after purchasing your first handgun, that's the single most likely cause of death in your life, approaching almost 50% of deaths.

...which indicates that the gun was bought specifically for that purpose in those 50% of handgun suicide deaths. It wasn't the other way around - people didn't die because they happened to have bought a handgun, which is the way you phrased it. They wanted to die, so they bought a handgun. I've owned my handgun for over 20 years, and I've not wanted to die, hence I'm not dead by it.

Re:So....far more than guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333099)

Typically it's the family / love interest of the gun owner, actually. More often than anyone "else" getting shot.

Re:So....far more than guns (0)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 4 months ago | (#47332959)

Drinking and driving was one of the big causes in here, and it is illegal.

Aside from drunk driving, drinking is more likely to end in killing yourself. I think gun deaths are more likely to kill other people (aside from suicide, which I would personally exclude from gun violence statistics, but I know is a large number). Nobody talks about restricting access to guns for your personal health.

Also, the number of people who drink is much higher than the number who have guns handy, so this statistic doesn't really inform whether the threat of gun violence is or is not more deserving of regulation than the thread of excessive drinking deaths. *Also* guns are useful for intimidation in robberies and the like in a way that booze is not -- the negative effect of guns is not just death but also the imminent and credible threat of death. Of course on the flip side there are social ills associated with alcohol that are not generally deadly.

The comparison to pop is a little more sensible. However, even the "sugary drinks" ban people were talking about was nothing like prohibition -- it essentially banned selling in a large cup, without banning bottomless refills. I still think it wasn't quite right, but you're the only one talking about blanket bans. Or children, for that matter.

I am not making any statement on gun control (not derailing an article about drinking deaths) other than that there isn't a comparison that's both simple and reasonable between gun control and prohibition.

Re:So....far more than guns (1)

Jack9 (11421) | about 4 months ago | (#47333415)

Reducing alcohol-related (or soda-related) deaths simply spreads certain death among other factors. Some other cause will take it's place as the 4th leader. What's the point? Trying to get accidents and natural causes to the top, doesn't seem like a worthy goal for humanity, to me.

I'll.... (5, Funny)

Danzigism (881294) | about 4 months ago | (#47332821)

Drink to that.

Re:I'll.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332919)

I wonder if the study included drunken fatal events/stunts that started with the phrase "Hey y'all, check this out"

Re:I'll.... (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47333391)

I wonder if the study included drunken fatal events/stunts that started with the phrase "Hey y'all, check this out"

No, no, no.

It's "hold my beer and watch this!"

real justice based entirely on mercy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332825)

judge as we would wish to be judged? 'they lay down their arms, stand hand in hand & gaze up into the heavens..... see you there

Double-dash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332837)

-- is your friend. This "exploit" has long been known, and most commands have addressed it. Not news.

Double-dash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332929)

-- is your friend. This "exploit" has long been known, and most commands have addressed it. Not news.

Guess who drank one too many...

So What (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332849)

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave.
I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave.
I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

Re:So What (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333023)

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave.
I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave.
I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

"I don't care if you live or die..."

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

"...but I do think you should listen to my opinion."

Well, at least you gave us fair warning! Antisocial people are, paradoxically, the first to give their opinion on how the world should be run.

Re:So What (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47333151)

No, antisocial people are the first to set buses on fire. You meant to say asocial, but this has nothing to do with that. He's also not saying anything about how things should be run other than implicitly wanting the government to leave him alone. No paradox here, it's live and let live.

Re:So What (3, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | about 4 months ago | (#47333289)

"I don't care if you live or die" is fundamentally different than "I won't try to force my perception of healthy living on you".

Re:So What (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47333145)

I'm not sure why your lack of concern of serious public health issues matters more than anyone elses' concern. If premature deaths actually just affected the person responsible, it would be a more tacitly agreeable position. But the reality we face is one where people depend on each other, drunk drivers kill other people, and many people aren't fully aware of the consequences.

Those are all reasons to be interested in alcohol at a policy level. Outright prohibition has problems that are pretty well understood, but pretending that's what's on the table from these data is dishonest.

Re:So What (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 4 months ago | (#47333429)

also, when people die preventable deaths we all pay a lot of money. think of the costs of liver transplants. you think that wino is paying out of pocket for it? no, it's either coming from his insurance or a public program, and in either case the cost is spread over the rest of us. multiply by a million. also, note that the summary says that alcohol is the leading cause of death for people in the prime of their lives. you know what I call them? breadwinners. and when the breadwinner dies who do you think pays for the families? for some of them, you and I. Another word for breadwinners - people who drive the economy. i don't know the math for how much money it causes us because the economy takes a hit because you're siphoning off productive people like this.

so yeah, we all have a vested interest in combatting preventable disease. this has nothing to do with any moral or ethical or busybodyness judgments. no man is an economic island, and we are all interconnected. I fail to see why somebody else should steal money out of my pocket.

Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333503)

I'm not sure why your lack of concern of serious public health issues matters more than anyone elses' concern. If premature deaths actually just affected the person responsible, it would be a more tacitly agreeable position. But the reality we face is one where people depend on each other, drunk drivers kill other people, and many people aren't fully aware of the consequences.

Those are all reasons to be interested in alcohol at a policy level. Outright prohibition has problems that are pretty well understood, but pretending that's what's on the table from these data is dishonest.

It is unreasonable to aim public policy at reducing the effects of one type of harm (drinking) while actively refusing to consider public policy for reducing the effects of a different type of harm (self-hurting) that results in, literally, an order of magnitude more deaths.

A society that refuses to improve mental health treatment while pushing prohibition is nothing more than Puritanical religionists. Keep your religion out of my government!

Reinstate the Prohibition (4, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 4 months ago | (#47332853)

It works so well with currently illegal drugs.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#47332899)

and yet, zero deaths due to 'overdosing' (impossible in practical terms) from taking teh pot (sic).

one is still (federally) illegal and the other advertises freely on print and broadcast media.

I often wonder if we are living in opposite-land, given that our logic is in reverse.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (2, Interesting)

retchdog (1319261) | about 4 months ago | (#47332983)

a lot of the alcohol deaths were due to impairment, not outright overdose. as pot becomes more overt, these numbers will increase too, as they already have in Colorado.

i do agree with your point, and i'm quite sure that pot is still notably safer, but we'll be seeing more and more articles like this on cannabis.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#47333021)

the articles on pot will be biased beyond all belief. the US won't admit that they were wrong, all along. never admit you were wrong: that's the government's motto. plus, there is too much money involved in arresting people, jailing them (for-profit jails!) and stealing their assets in immoral property grabs.

there will be more car crashes due to mothers yelling at their kids in the back seat, cell phone use and inattentive drivers (not stoned) than pot users, but I do expect lots of SPIN trying to convince us of how evil the devil weed is.

just don't believe it. its all lies.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about 4 months ago | (#47333075)

well, yeah, i agree with you, i'm just commenting that this is going to happen.

and it's not all lies. that's the definition of spin: it's a careful 'interpretation' of truth. the lack of a fast objective test for marijuana impairment is a real problem, as is the synergistic effect of pot and alcohol (anecdote: the one and only time i ever blacked out was the one and only time i mixed (relatively modest) amounts of the two).

these problems don't justify criminalization in and of themselves (imho), but it's not "all lies." that's just your spin on it.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#47333329)

You are stupid. Marijuana has always been legal in Colorado and Washington. It was only the interference of nasty Europeans that created such problems. The US has also never had a death penalty, and never wrongfully arrested anyone, and has less crime than everywhere and lower unemployment and fewer poor people.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 4 months ago | (#47333453)

there will be more car crashes due to mothers yelling at their kids in the back seat, cell phone use and inattentive drivers (not stoned) than pot users, but I do expect lots of SPIN trying to convince us of how evil the devil weed is.

just don't believe it. its all lies.

studies have shown that mothers with children in the car are the safest drivers, because they drive conservatively and are very aware of surroundings. try again.

A few drinks of alcohol .NE. couple of dubes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333137)

A few drinks of alcohol and you are drunk. Motor skills & reaction time affected, etc. But pot is a very different story.

A decade back I worked a labor job for a plumbing company.

My co-workers were all big pot heads. So much so that my saying "no thanks" to it at work branded me as a "possible narc". Anyway, one thing I noticed about my stoned co-workers? It never affected their performance. Driving? No complaints. Precision in doing their job? They were all generally better at it than I was, regardless of their current or average THC levels.

It was a real eye opener for me. Ever since that experience, and despite not having used pot for over 30 years (and not caring for it when I did try it), I have become "pro pot". In that there is truly no reason to be "anti pot".

But of course drug companies, I mean their paid shills, will disagree.

Re:A few drinks of alcohol .NE. couple of dubes (0)

retchdog (1319261) | about 4 months ago | (#47333183)

so you respond to a strawman with a few personal anecdotes. maybe you should use some of that performance-enhancing marijuana before you read slashdot.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47333315)

Have they? The only thing I'm aware of happening on a big scale are newbies eating large amounts of edibles not realizing their potency and then losing control. Basically a matter of not having a proper dosage and labeling system.

Weed still impairs you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333043)

If a dude drinks a pint of Jack and then drives his car into a tree then it appears that this study attributes his death to his consumption of alcohol.
Just as many dudes will probably smoke some weed and drive their car into a tree (maybe slightly less, because a few will be stuck at the last stop light waiting for it to turn green).

Re:Weed still impairs you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333159)

This is bullshit, impairment exists, and that is the point, but, to equate it to alcohol impairment is naive.

Re:Weed still impairs you (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 4 months ago | (#47333359)

Both studies illustrate the same problem and it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see the solution.

Ban trees.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333299)

zero deaths due to 'overdosing' (impossible in practical terms) from taking teh pot (sic).

Right, just deaths from marijuana poisoning. Which is totally different from overdosing on marijuana.

Stupid stoners.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332915)

If they reinstate Prohibition I raise taxes to 90% in the US in retaliation...

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (1)

Threni (635302) | about 4 months ago | (#47333041)

Well, they'll start on about alcohol like they do with smoking. Plain packaging, not having people drink on tv, ban on commercials etc etc.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333239)

I don't doubt that deaths from alcohol exist that's obvious. But one of the comments in this post brings up the (propaganda) how government was behind banning smoking. And this maybe another one of those attempts, sadly Republicans that are rabble on with taxes or as they pathetically call them "fees" and every state relies on alcohol taxes just as they did with tobacco.

In my state alone they jacked-up the price of drivers license, vehicle registration, gasoline, toll roads, and of course it is tax but having an idiot Republican for Governor they'll sell it off as "fees". Not to rabble on and target one party since both are worthless, but your taking away peoples escape, and not in the sense of drinking to escape reality, but to enjoy themselves, it will only lead to more violent crimes as people no longer have a choice but to work themselves to death, and no way to blow off steam, or relax however they want. Its in the constitution you are suppose to have the right to ingest, or do what you want to your body and yet the courts are nowhere to found when it comes to illegal laws such as prohibition of drugs and now it appears perhaps they'll be going after alcohol.

Re:Reinstate the Prohibition (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#47333309)

It's part of the fascination with alcohol that the US has. It's a very adult thing--so adult you have to be 21 to do it. We don't drink because the booze is good; we drink because boooooooooze and drooooooonk so cool!!!!

Pennsylvania did a study to show that European-style alcohol legislation increases alcoholism. You're an alcoholic if you have 2 drinks in 1 day more than once a week, by the way. In Europe, where 16 year olds can buy beer and parents can order alcohol for their 14 year olds, everyone is alcoholics. I mean they drink a beer with lunch and dinner a couple times a week, they're total boozers.

Risk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332855)

This falls on deaf ears.

In the meantime, we're spending trillions on the War on Terrorism. Hundreds of billions on the War on Drugs - alcohol NOT included. Lots and lots of bickering about gun control.

And in the meantime, you're probably gonna die from heart disease, cancer, some complications from obesity or alcohol.

Oh wait, terrorists and Mexican drug lords don't have lobbyists in Washington, DC.

my bad.

Re:Risk. (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#47333161)

Of *course* the drug lords have lobbyists in DC, they just don't announce themselves. Move the stuff off the black market and profits fall through the floor. Even with all the attempts at restricting production the price of pot in Colorado and other (semi)-legalized states is falling.

Given the fact that prohibition doesn't actually work and never has (we can't even keep drugs out of *prisons*, how could we possibly keep them out of a free society?), there are only two rational reasons to attempt it:
(1) Police empowerment - nothing like a mandate to fight an unwinnable war on an ill-defined subset of the general population to provide an excuse for ever-increasing funding and the erosion of civil rights.
(2) Bolstering the black market. And as a bonus since they're operating outside the law in an extremely lucrative market, the merchants have incentive to resort to violence among themselves and with the authorities, further bolstering (1).

Take your pick. Historically both outcomes are the only major results of any prohibition attempt in a free society.

Butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332859)

They tell me than drinking is good for me. Whom do I believe now? Flip a coin? Go with the more drinking? Go with less? Tell me slashdot fruends. What shall I do now?

Re:Butt (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#47333211)

From your level of reading comprehension I'd say you've had plenty already. *Excessive* drinking increases your risk of imminent death. Meanwhile most of the health benefits have been associated with consumption in the ~1 drink per day range. I think traumatic injury/surgery recovery is the only situation where I've heard of high levels of intoxication being potentially helpful.

Re:Butt (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47333369)

The reality is that our bodies react in a number of different ways to a number of different chemicals, so the healthy choice would depend on a number of factors, and your overall long term well being is an even more complicated matter, since it's often dependent upon relationships with others, employment, etc.. If you skip breakfast to make a meeting that grants you a better paying job with more free time, it's probably a net win.

It's a matter of perspective (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332869)

I mean, it's probably better that I die from drinking than other people die from murder.

1 in 10 adult deaths (5, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | about 4 months ago | (#47332873)

1 in 10 deaths, huh? That's a bold statement considering the huge qualifications on it:
* 22-64 years old
* preventable

So the actual number is much less than 1 in 10, not much more as the summary says.

Re:1 in 10 adult deaths (3, Informative)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 4 months ago | (#47333189)

I once told a professor that he should change the title of his statistics course to "lying with numbers made fun".

Often times people will cut down a sample or leave out important information in a summary just to promote a point, it's disingenuous.

Died in the saddle (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332889)

There's something to be said for passing away while doing something you love.

Self Medication (4, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#47332897)

Having had an alcoholic step dad and grandfather I can say there's many reasons that people drink. Mostly it's one because they want to and if they don't have alcohol they'll use something else smoking, drugs whatever may be available. Alcohol allows people to self medicate and avoid things in life or help to forget things in life, like the fact that their lives didn't turn out as planned. For others it's just an activity because others are doing it around them and they can't stop because they get addicted to it.

Re:Self Medication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333065)

The same things can be said for junkies and people who lash out in violence. I'm failing to see your point here.

Re:Self Medication (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 4 months ago | (#47333271)

Antidepressants bother me also, sure there may be times when they are useful for reasons that make sense. If your wife cheats on you with your best friend and then takes the car and the house in the divorce... chances are pills won't help.

Re:Self Medication (-1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 4 months ago | (#47333301)

Medication is used to treat diseases. Feeling like a fuck-up isn't a disease, and even if it was alcohol would probably be one of the last medicines a physician would prescribe. It's the opposite of a medicine, it's a poison in fact.

I don't buy the smoking/drugs thing because hundreds of years ago (much less thousands) they didn't have pills or pot. And they didn't chew on mushrooms, either. They just had lives. So you can call it something, I call it getting drunk, but jeez medication is a pretty damn far cry no matter how many people before you parroted it.

Re:Self Medication (4, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#47333425)

Self-medication with alcohol can be useful, though. I found out a long while back that consuming 1 ounce of liquor (rum, whiskey, brandy) every 2-3 days fixed my clinical depression. I took to occasionally sipping a shot of whiskey out of a sniffer over 3-4 hours, or drinking a beer or two now and then. Didn't need to booze out on it, and it really did last days.

The baseline behavior was a severe downward spiral of emotion in reaction to any negative emotion stemming from a failed expectation or a trivial mistake. The corrected behavior was minor upset bounded to the degree of the original stimulus, with no avalanche effect. I decided 2-3 beers a week was probably safer than Zoloft or such, so did that for a while.

Nice to Know What We're Worth (2)

mugetsu37 (1485997) | about 4 months ago | (#47332903)

From the text: "And those premature deaths cost the United States $224 billion a year, the report found, or $1.90 a drink."

Re:Nice to Know What We're Worth (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47332941)

Look, if you genuinely believe, as our society tacitly does, that free market economics works, it's implicitly the case that you can put a number on a human life.

We're extremely averse to doing that in verbal speech, but in terms of how we design our economy to work, it's implicitly assumed people are doing that constantly. I'm not even trying to condemn that fact, just suggest it should be acknowledged as a reality of how we conduct ourselves.

Re:Nice to Know What We're Worth (1)

Justpin (2974855) | about 4 months ago | (#47333027)

Free markets as a concept work. The problem is free markets don't actually exist any that do exist quickly stop become free markets. Hell Hong Kong which is reputed to be ruthlessly capitalist which only got a min wage this year, with virtually non existent taxes for the everyday man still has a lot of non freemarket policies, like maximum of 65% APR on any sort of loan, people have gone to prison for 150% APR loans, they have lots of social housing and free up to college undergrad education.

Re:Nice to Know What We're Worth (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47333251)

I think we should put numbers on human lives more often, by averting our eyes to it we look away from the human cost of financial crimes and inequities.

For example the average American will generate 2-4 million in their lifetime and will get to keep about half of it (before they pay taxes on that half). Keep that in mind.

Re:Nice to Know What We're Worth (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#47333285)

The free market has nothing to do with it - any society which institutes non-free policies to preserve life has to face the fact that the things you can do to reduce non-age related deaths greatly outstrip your ability to fund them. Faced with that fact you really have no option but to assign a dollar value to a life if you want to make rational policy decisions.

Re:Nice to Know What We're Worth (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47333319)

Not to get too deep into alternate economic philosophies that are not my own, but not all systems actually use pricing as a tool. Sure, there are still resources, and they're still expended, but those aren't necessarily quantified in the same manner.

Re:Nice to Know What We're Worth (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#47333489)

My calculations place the value of a human life at roughly 14% of all personal income in the economy. That's the bottom of the optimal range for UBI, which eliminates poverty while standing up to (and lessening the impact of) economic downturns and not causing hyperinflation. The optimal range appears to be 14%-15%, and I usually call the 15% number for simplicity. The viable range seems to be 11%-20%, but I'm uncertain of that--less certain about the higher end, particularly. Too high causes irreparable economic damage, and the natural adjustments are destabilizing; at the low end, the natural adjustments are stabilizing, but there's a lower bound where it simply doesn't work at all anymore.

But nobody wants to listen to me. The current trendy solution to all poverty is to tax the living shit out of the rich and give it all to the poor.

prime of life / working age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332905)

"One of the issues with alcohol that is particularly tragic is the extent to which it gets people in the prime of their lives."

No, not the prime of their lives, this study looked at *working-age adults.* The years when most people have to slave away the irreplaceable hours of their lives to enrich their employers and landlords. Being a slave is unpleasant and it leads to alcohol and tobacco use.

Alcohol is an excuse, not a cause. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332955)

Alcohol is not the reason people get into fatal car accidents. It is from the vehicle coming to a sudden stop. To attribute someones bad driving to alcohol is an excuse, not a reason.

1000s innocent infants dying daily from starvation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332957)

100% preventable.. no one is ciphering any ratios

"drinking" eh? (0)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#47332981)

1 in 10? That seems high. But here is the thing, alcohol is a carbohydrate and a good amount of the damage it does is really not all that different from fructose. That being the case, it makes sense that with increasing sugar intake, those also drinking a lot of alcohol would tend to get hit the hardest.

Both cause diabetes. Both cause heart disease. Both damage the liver.

http://www.thesuperherobody.co... [thesuperherobody.com]

Seems like the drinkers are our canaries in this coal mine.

Re:"drinking" eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333241)

Alcohol is a lot worse than fructose; it's yeast crap, poison, toxic, it intoxicates, strains the liver to destruction in the effort to rid the body of it, Better off avoided altogether I would say.

article headline sucks ass (5, Insightful)

epine (68316) | about 4 months ago | (#47333011)

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

This does not deserve to live on Oprah, much less Slashdot. Not on Fox News, not on Rush Limbaugh, not on Howard Stern, not on Jerry Springer. On its own, exactly as it stands, it would set a new standard for outright stupidity in any legal jurisdiction that has yet to legislate pi = 3.

Oh, but wait, there's a footnote: preventable deaths among working-aged adult Americans. THAT'S NOT FUCKING FINE PRINT. My credibility circuit assigned six zeros (0.00000% chance of being true) before I managed to read the next line.

In all the many long years I've been here, I can not recall a single story headline that revolts me to this degree. I was reading recently Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics by Michael Ignatieff. At some point during his election campaign he said something stupid about the Middle East. His campaign manager pulled him aside and explained to him: "Politicians have nine lives. You just burned eight."

I have a finite amount of all-caps to expend on Slashdot outrage. I just burned 80% of my lifetime supply. Next time I resort to all-caps, I'll never post here again.

Re:article headline sucks ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333413)

As long as infants aren't drinking themselves to death, none of this is believable!

HURGHA HUHR DUHRRR PREVENTALB DEAFS!!

It's not saying 1 in 10 adults are killed by alcohol. It's saying "If you are drinking age, and die before you retire, it's a 10% chance alcohol did it to you, and it could have been prevented" Read it more slowly next time without fusing the statistics together in your head.

Holy shit, talk about a tempest in a teapot.

Leading cause of preventable death (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333059)

The leading cause preventable of death in the U.S. is abortion; about 800,000 per year. Nobody wants to recognize it, however.

Re:Leading cause of preventable death (1)

Bruinwar (1034968) | about 4 months ago | (#47333143)

Legal or not, abortions will always happen. Making it illegal would likely cause the abortion rate to rise. Plus make it less expensive. Maybe preventing unwanted pregnancies would be the best way to avoid abortions.

Re:Leading cause of preventable death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333303)

Maybe preventing unwanted pregnancies

Contraceptives are already available for free in France in every pharmacies. Short of sending a policeman to every house every day to ensure teenage girls take their contraceptive, what more can we do?

Re:Leading cause of preventable death (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 4 months ago | (#47333337)

I have to question that number. There are roughly 112 million Americans aged 18 to 44, which is a good enough approximation for childbearing year. If half of those are women, that's 56 million women.

There are 4 million babies born in the US, that means there are 52 million women not having a baby in a given year.

You're suggesting that roughly 2% of eligible American women are getting pregnant, deciding they don't want to be, and having abortions every year? Or that nearly 20% of all American pregnancies are terminated?

I'm probably wasting time responding to an offtopic post by an AC, but that number just doesn't make any sense to me.

ALL Things In Moderation. (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 4 months ago | (#47333069)

You can over indulge in almost any activity. Having a group of assholes try to dictate what others do is the stupidest thing ever. ALL drugs should be legal including alcohol and heroin. If you are too stupid to use self control then you suffer the consequences. You used to be able to buy cocaine at Walgreens over the counter without a prescription. you used to be able to grow weed on your own property legally. In fact is USED to be a law that you HAD to grow hemp on your farm. FUCK THE DEA & PROHIBITION. Vote the fucktards out of office, and eliminate these government entities.

Misleading Headline (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47333077)

The headline implies that alcohol is the sole killer of 1 in 10 adult deaths, but that's just not true. It's 1 in 10 preventable deaths, which is a subset of all deaths that occur. In reality, alcohol probably accounts for 10% of all adult deaths.

Also, they tracked things like car accidents and homicides, which are not deaths caused by alcohol - they're deaths caused by the laws of physics. The only real deaths that can be directly attributed to alcohol are things like alcohol poisoning, cirrhosis of the liver, some forms of liver cancer, and a few other diseases directly related to the consumption of alcohol.

A better headline would've been "CDC: Alcohol contributes to 10% of preventable adult deaths in the US"

Re:Misleading Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333215)

The headline implies that alcohol is the sole killer of 1 in 10 adult deaths, but that's just not true...In reality, alcohol probably accounts for 10% of all adult deaths.

1 in 10 = 10%, genius.

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47333347)

100% of preventable deaths are caused by poor decisions. We should outlaw decision making!

Prohibiton, Come Back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333085)

...all is forgiven.
Seriously though, scary to read about the SWAT raids on the stoners while the boozers are slowly killing themselves with impunity.

Degrees of separation? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47333087)

Dying of AIDS-related illness is a pretty big stretch. So, you get drunk, have unprotected sex and contract HIV, which attacks your immune system, and you die of an opportunistic virus. That seems to have enough factors involved that putting it on alcohol is an enormous stretch.

S-s-synthehol? (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 4 months ago | (#47333101)

Might help. [io9.com]

The question begs (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 4 months ago | (#47333105)

Would deaths of working-age adults go UP (particularly suicides) if they weren't drinking all the time?

No Such Thing (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 4 months ago | (#47333153)

There is no such thing as a "preventable death", at least until we develop some form of immortality. It can only be delayed or accelerated, and the cause can be shifted. Everyone is going to die at some point in time.

Re:No Such Thing (1)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | about 4 months ago | (#47333427)

Sure there is - for example, you can prevent death from being in an airplane crash by never boarding a plane. That risk is eliminated, not "delayed or accelerated". Smoking-related diseases can be prevented by not smoking, and avoiding exposure to smoke. In the same manner alcohol-related deaths can be prevented by not consuming alcohol.

The map is curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333171)

The highest percentages of alcohol related deaths are in Rocky Mountain States. Is the takeaway here that if you're drunk, make sure you are on flat ground?

The root cause for slashdotters. (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 4 months ago | (#47333175)

The high mortality rate due to drinking amongst slashdotters can be directly attributed to physical and emotional abuse. Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP have ushered millions of nerds into an early grave from alcohol poisoning alone. the longterm effects of say, A peoplesoft migration however are much more destructive as theyre often worsened by the invisible culprit of change management. Taking a look at the youth of today, gateways like SCRUM and devops mean that not only are our future hackers drinking more at an early age, theyre forced to undergo gruelling "stand up" meetings that require then to concentrate all their effort into their creamy, underdeveloped legs to keep them aloft. the agony of being away from their natural habitat, the herman miller chair, coupled with the verbal and emotional abuse from phrases like swim-lanes and synergy amount to nothing short of an epidemic in IT.

but you can take action to stop this. IT workers thrive in an environment of nerf, far away from their natural predator the project manager. warmed slices of pizza pie and refreshing caffeinated nectars are what can keep this endangered species of young codelings healthy and free from substance abuse. The presence of the rare git-push neckbeard, or in some collectives a majestic greyhair vax longbeard have confirmed that excessive drinking is in fact no longer a problem in many dimly lit, cool climate colonies.

Re:The root cause for slashdotters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333327)

lol, that is great stuff!

Sure, but . . . (5, Funny)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | about 4 months ago | (#47333213)

But how many births are caused by excessive drinking?

Dear government (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47333263)

Dear Government,
          Thank you for informing us. I'm glad you're doing research and informing the public. That's your job. Now please go the hell away. You have an unfortunate tendency to find data like this and then use it to try and control my life. If I chose to drink despite this warning, that's my choice.

Solve root cause of Excessive Drinking first... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333373)

How about looking closer at the root cause of excessive drinking? (Mainly, that life fucking sucks shit.) Try fixing that first before restricting alcohol further, or whatever they are trying to accomplish. Failing to do that will ensure the "alcohol problems" will just go elsewhere.

we'll see if this cures my ten-year Slashdot habit (1)

epine (68316) | about 4 months ago | (#47333441)


@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document domain("slashdot.org") {
div, p, h1, span, table, footer, header {
      display: none !important;
}
body:after {
    content: 'CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking';
    color: #FF0000;
    display: block;
    text-align: center;
    font-size: 1.5vmax;
}
}

This is stupid, not "tragic" (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 4 months ago | (#47333457)

Please, stop calling everything that's unhappy a "TRAGEDY". Do you even know what the word means?

Don't want to die of this? Stop drinking. Not rocket science.

For the majority of cases, obesity is not a tragedy, neither are drug-use deaths, nor AIDS-related deaths nor is DRINKING YOURSELF TO DEATH.

All of them are 95% or more self-inflicted. Pathetic? Yes. Sad? Yes, probably, at the very least on a personal level. But tragic? No. Tragedy implies some sort of impersonal force, or a fate one can't fight against. It entirely absolves people of their own responsibility.

Stop trying to milk sympathy from the general public for entirely avoidable results of peoples' life choices.

If you *do* believe this is tragedy, then you deny people their very basic humanity - their right to make choices for themselves, and suffer/enjoy those consequences. The moment you dismiss peoples' right to make their own important choices, you're logically condoning everything from compulsory abortion (or denial of same) to arranged marriages.

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