According to the latest Vital Signs report released by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, drinking proved to be fatal for 2,200 people each year. Binge drinking is a common norm for people across the U.S. but death rates have been steadily increasing.
Excessive ingestion of alcohol can produce alcohol poisoning and lead to death due to toxic levels of alcohol in the system. This happens when the liver, primarily, has depleted all the reserve of enzymes, needed to combat alcohol.
Alcohol consumption is considered to be excessive when the blood alcohol levels exceed the specified normal limit, which is 0.08 g/dL.
Alcohol poisoning cause accumulation of toxic materials like aldehydes which can harm the body. With critically high levels, many areas of the body which are important to maintain vitality are disabled and lead to a depressed heart rate, breathing, body temperature and eventually death. Alcohol poisoning is particularly hard on the middle aged and elderly males.
The CDC stats say that from 2010 through 2012, 6 people died on average per day, every day. The study reports that the most cases seen belong to the age group 35-64 years and most commonly are non-Hispanic whites, with Alaska having the highest death toll and Alabama having the least.
Alcohol dependence was not seen in most cases and amounted up to only 30% of the cases. However the chances of death increase proportionately with the amount of alcohol consumed, regardless of potential dependence. This calls for a need to council even those patients who are not defined alcoholics.
Authorities are worried about the significant change in demographics. Since the older adults are just as prone to the changing trend as the youngsters, CDC and other health officials want to investigate further into the causes.
Meanwhile, the CDC suggests guidelines about preventing binge drinking to reduce the overall mortality rate.
Introduction of a police and health personnel liaison can help in decreasing the trend of binge drinking. The role of alcohol should be assessed in various injuries and deaths, those in falls and in accidents. Also supportive therapies and programs to decrease the use of alcohol by spreading awareness of the risks of binge drinking and may be of sufficient help.