Get help today 888-744-0069 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Alcohol Poisoning Deaths Are Occurring at an Alarming Rate

The perception that it’s the college crowd most given to binge drinking and alcohol poisoning has just been proven false, thanks to a study recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Cause of a Deadly Problem

Of the 2,221 reported alcohol poisoning deaths between 2010 and 2012 (that’s roughly 6 per day), 3 quarters were men between the ages of 35 and 64, with the highest incidence aged 45-54, according to the report findings.

“Most previous studies have looked at college kids and young people, but the problem is bigger than that,” said Dr. Robert Brewer, head of the alcohol program at the CDC. “It was surprising that the number of deaths was so concentrated among middle-age adults.”

Alcohol poisoning deaths are most often due to binge drinking an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time. This form of drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks in one occasion and 5 or more for men. The massive quantity of alcohol used by binge drinkers can overtake the normal function of some parts of the brain and can shut down its control over a person’s breathing, heart rate, and even body temperature.

The report also goes on to state that 38 million American adults report binge drinking 4 times each month, on average, but pointed out that a great majority of these binge drinkers (90%) are considered alcohol abusers, not alcoholics with an alcohol dependency.

The Finer Details

The New York Times’ health page lists the difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse:

“Alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continue to drink despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol may control your life and relationships. Alcohol abuse is when your drinking leads to problems, but not physical addiction.”

In addition to the possibility of alcohol poisoning, binge drinkers could also compromise their immune systems, putting themselves at greater risk of developing pneumonia and infection, according to researchers at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

“The study makes the point that one episode of this type of drinking can certainly be disruptive in your immune system and potentially lead to problems,” said the study’s lead Dr. Majid Afshar Afshar.

How to Get Treatment for Alcohol Misuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol misuse, help is available and recovery is possible. A professional alcohol rehab program can start anyone battling alcohol addiction on the road to recovery.

A compassionate admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers (AAC) can provide you with helpful information and assist you in locating the best treatment centers for your requirements near your location. Please contact AAC free at at any time, day or night. You can also check your health insurance benefits using the form below.

Levels of Care in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Recommended Alcohol Recovery-Related Articles

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.

(0/100)