According to statistics, alcohol addiction destroys entire cities and related medical, social, and psychological problems, every year lead to the death of approximately nearly half a million people, which makes alcohol one of the main causes of death on the planet.
How to imagine what is half a million dead? This is equivalent to the fact that in 10 years in Los Angeles there would not be a single resident. This is enough to postpone all things and think: what is happening to us?
And the following is happening. Every fourth man and every fifth woman living in the US become victims of their own or someone else’s alcoholism. Of course, the victim is not necessarily fatal. Excessive consumption of alcohol leads to numerous diseases, violence, traffic accidents, and extreme situations at work, affecting children most negatively. Alcohol is responsible for a third of deaths and about 16% of road accidents.
In different sources, you can find data on the number of deaths from alcohol. Some studies say that on average in the United States nearly 90 thousand people die from excessive alcohol consumption, other data say the figure is 120 thousand. Why is it difficult to evaluate accurately? It is because a stroke and a heart attack can also be provoked by alcohol.
Biologists and doctors are finding more evidence that long-term alcohol intake not only leads to cirrhosis of the liver and impaired brain function but also other extremely serious consequences. Scientists have found that alcohol increases the chances of developing seven types of cancer at once and leads to many problems with lung function due to disturbances in the circulation of nitric oxide in the body.
Equally difficult it is to calculate financial damage. According to the US Department of Health, this damage from the use of narcotic substances and alcoholic beverages is approximately $ 295 billion, and alcohol makes up the predominant part of this amount – $ 190 billion. This is the cost of eliminating the consequences of various accidents provoked by people in a state of serious intoxication; on the costs of medicine and the law enforcement system.
But how can one calculate the damage from thousands of failed lives, unfinished businesses, destroyed families, and children’s lives?
Thomas K Greenfield – Scientific Director at the Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, and his colleagues conducted a detailed assessment of how alcohol and related problems affect not only the condition and life of the drinkers themselves but of society as a whole.
To do this, scientists conducted two major social surveys, in which they studied how the appearance of one or more alcoholics in the family, at work, or simply in the neighborhood affected the lives of almost ten thousand US residents.
These surveys showed that the scale of the indirect consequences of alcohol abuse was seriously underestimated. In total, they affect the lives of approximately 50 million men and women now residing in the United States, and often the case is not limited to threats, insults, or damage to public or joint property.
Most often, victims of alcoholics are young people whose age does not exceed 25 years, as well as spouses and relatives of heavy drinkers. According to scientists, the likelihood of becoming a victim increases several times if the victim himself or herself drinks more than 4-5 servings of alcohol per week (for men) or per month (for women).