There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States.
Excessive drinking includes heavy drinking, binge drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.
- Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive alcohol consumption, is defined as consuming
- For women, 4 or more drinks during a single occasion.
- For men, 5 or more drinks during a single occasion.
- Heavy drinking is defined as consuming
- For women, 8 or more drinks per week.
- For men, 15 or more drinks per week.
There are many short-term risks related to excessive alcohol use, including: injuries, violence, impaired judgment, risky behavior, dehydration and alcohol poisoning.
Long term effects can be life threatening. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems. These include but are not limited to:
- Neurological problems, including dementia, stroke and neuropathy
- Cardiovascular problems
- Psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide
- Social problems, including unemployment, lost productivity, and family problems
- Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast
- Liver diseases
- Other gastrointestinal problems