The number of Americans who visited emergency rooms for alcohol-related reasons from 2009 to 2010 is significantly higher than in 2001 to 2002, according an analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"The rate of emergency department visits for alcohol-related diagnoses for males increased 38 percent, from 68 to 94 visits per 10,000 population," the CDC states in its report. "The visit rate for females also increased 38 percent, from 26 to 36 visits per 10,000 population. Throughout the study period, the visit rate for males was higher than the visit rate for females."
The CDC analysis only included emergency department visits that were for medical issues directly related to alcohol like cirrhosis of the liver, excess blood alcohol and alcohol poisoning. Injuries and motor vehicle accidents that may have been caused by alcohol were excluded.
According to the CDC, one in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month, consuming approximately eight beverages per session. This behavior costs the United States over $200 billion annually from losses in productivity, health care, crime and other expenses. In addition it can cause multiple health problems including:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Children born with fetal alcohol syndrome
- Liver disease
- Neurological damage
- Poor control of diabetes.