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What Were the Drug and Alcohol Death Rates in Your State?

What Were the Drug and Alcohol Death Rates in Your State?

Author: Justin Mckibben

A reality that is undeniable in this world is that somewhere on the planet, someone passes away every day. It is completely possible statistically that while you are reading this, someone is taking their last breaths. It is part of the process; the circle of life. Nobody lives forever. Yet, one tragic truth we have today is that so many are dying because of something as insidious as addiction. Right now, somewhere someone is dying from a drug overdose.

In all reality, several people just like you and I will die of a drug overdose, or a related illness or incident, today. As death rates due to opioid overdose death escalate higher than ever before, we find that drugs and alcohol are the most lethal threat facing Americans.

Last year we did an article providing overdose death rates for each state. So with that in mind, we took the time to provide some perspective by giving you the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, as far as an entire year’s worth of statistics for drug and alcohol induced deaths.

What do you think is your states statistic? Where does your state fall on the scale of highest to lowest?

The following information is in regards to 2015, and the population figures for year 2015 are bridged-race estimates of the July 1 resident population, from the Vintage 2015 postcensal series released by NCHS on June 28, 2016.

California

  • Drug deaths- 5,025
  • Alcohol deaths- 5,150
  • Total- 10,175

Florida

  • Drug deaths- 3,377
  • Alcohol deaths- 2,489
  • Total- 5,866

Texas

  • Drug deaths- 2,732
  • Alcohol deaths- 2,073
  • Total- 4,805

New York

  • Drug deaths- 3,009
  • Alcohol deaths- 1,479
  • Total- 4,488

Ohio

  • Drug deaths- 3,418
  • Alcohol deaths- 1,027
  • Total- 4,445

Pennsylvania

  • Drug deaths- 3,376
  • Alcohol deaths- 879
  • Total- 4,255

Michigan

  • Drug deaths- 2,316
  • Alcohol deaths- 985
  • Total- 3,301

Illinois

  • Drug deaths- 1,872
  • Alcohol deaths- 946
  • Total- 2,818

Arizona

  • Drug deaths- 1,351
  • Alcohol deaths- 1,277
  • Total- 2,628

North Carolina

  • Drug deaths- 1,636
  • Alcohol deaths- 915
  • Total- 2,551

Massachusetts

  • Drug deaths- 1,851
  • Alcohol deaths- 633
  • Total- 2,484

Washington

  • Drug deaths- 1,189
  • Alcohol deaths- 1,100
  • Total- 2,289

Tennessee

  • Drug deaths- 1,546
  • Alcohol deaths- 637
  • Total- 2,183

Georgia

  • Drug deaths- 1,370
  • Alcohol deaths- 726
  • Total- 2,096

New Jersey

  • Drug deaths- 1,506
  • Alcohol deaths- 527
  • Total- 2,033

Indiana

  • Drug deaths- 1,310
  • Alcohol deaths- 689
  • Total- 1,999

Kentucky

  • Drug deaths- 1,331
  • Alcohol deaths- 466
  • Total- 1,798

Colorado

  • Drug deaths- 893
  • Alcohol deaths- 857
  • Total- 1,750

Virginia

  • Drug deaths- 1,070
  • Alcohol deaths- 655
  • Total- 1,725

Maryland

  • Drug deaths- 1,320
  • Alcohol deaths- 301
  • Total- 1,621

Missouri

  • Drug deaths- 1,098
  • Alcohol deaths- 512
  • Total- 1,610

Wisconsin

  • Drug deaths- 894
  • Alcohol deaths- 638
  • Total- 1,532

Oregon

  • Drug deaths- 609
  • Alcohol deaths- 896
  • Total- 1,505

Louisiana

  • Drug deaths- 901
  • Alcohol deaths- 388
  • Total- 1,289

South Carolina

  • Drug deaths- 793
  • Alcohol deaths- 495
  • Total- 1,288

Oklahoma

  • Drug deaths- 751
  • Alcohol deaths- 530
  • Total- 1,281

Minnesota

  • Drug deaths- 653
  • Alcohol deaths- 599
  • Total- 1,252

New Mexico

  • Drug deaths- 516
  • Alcohol deaths- 656
  • Total- 1,172

Connecticut

  • Drug deaths- 827
  • Alcohol deaths- 341
  • Total- 1,168

Alabama

  • Drug deaths- 810
  • Alcohol deaths- 316
  • Total- 1,126

Nevada

  • Drug deaths- 629
  • Alcohol deaths- 433
  • Total- 1,062

West Virginia

  • Drug deaths- 750
  • Alcohol deaths-193
  • Total- 943

Utah

  • Drug deaths- 667
  • Alcohol deaths- 266
  • Total- 933

Iowa

  • Drug deaths- 332
  • Alcohol deaths- 344
  • Total- 676

Arkansas

  • Drug deaths- 425
  • Alcohol deaths- 242
  • Total- 667

Kansas

  • Drug deaths- 349
  • Alcohol deaths- 278
  • Total- 627

New Hampshire

  • Drug deaths- 433
  • Alcohol deaths- 173
  • Total- 606

Mississippi

  • Drug deaths- 369
  • Alcohol deaths- 175
  • Total- 544

Maine

  • Drug deaths- 278
  • Alcohol deaths- 194
  • Total- 472

Rhode Island

  • Drug deaths- 318
  • Alcohol deaths- 146
  • Total- 464

Idaho

  • Drug deaths- 224
  • Alcohol deaths- 240
  • Total- 464

Nebraska

  • Drug deaths- 139
  • Alcohol deaths- 199
  • Total- 338

Montana

  • Drug deaths- 152
  • Alcohol deaths- 194
  • Total- 346

Alaska

  • Drug deaths- 127
  • Alcohol deaths- 161
  • Total- 288

Delaware

  • Drug deaths- 208
  • Alcohol deaths- 80
  • Total- 288

Hawaii

  • Drug deaths- 175
  • Alcohol deaths- 95
  • Total- 270

Wyoming

  • Drug deaths- 99
  • Alcohol deaths- 152
  • Total- 251

South Dakota

  • Drug deaths- 72
  • Alcohol deaths- 152
  • Total- 224

District of Columbia

  • Drug deaths- 130
  • Alcohol deaths- 80
  • Total- 210

Vermont

  • Drug deaths- 111
  • Alcohol deaths- 96
  • Total- 207

North Dakota

  • Drug deaths- 65
  • Alcohol deaths- 96
  • Total- 161

The total drug related deaths in America- 55,403

Total alcohol related deaths in America- 33,171

Then the total combined (Drug/Alcohol) deaths in America- 88,574

Analyzing the Data of Deaths

Again, these are the CDC’s statistics from 2015; the most recent comprehensive data they can provide. The year 2016 saw some of the most damaging spikes of overdose rates in some cities. Some reports show 2016 to have the highest rates of drug addiction in the history of America. So if we look at the numbers for 2015, it is truly heartbreaking that in all likelihood well over the 88,574 people who died in 2015 lost their lives in 2016.

Some states have seen a huge jump in drug related death. My home-state of Ohio saw 3,778 in 2014, putting them at 3rd highest rate of drug/alcohol-related deaths. That grew to 4,445 in 2015; an increase of 667 people. California held onto the 1st spot on the top highest with 9,562 in 2014, which shot up to 10,175 in 2015; an increase of 613 people.

Oklahoma actually saw a decline in drug-related deaths,  bringing their total drug/alcohol-related deaths down from 1,348 in 2014 to 1,281 in 2015. But they did see an increase is alcohol-related deaths. Mississippi also saw a slight dip from 548 total to 544.

But while some were more intense shifts than others, besides Oklahoma and Mississippi, drug/alcohol-related deaths increased across the board.

Conclusion

What can we take from this? Well, quite simply, that we need to be aware of the true threat that substance abuse poses to our future. If we can expect based on headlines over the year that 2016 was much worse, we need to ask where we are heading. What is being done to change our direction?

We can also conclude that substance abuse an addiction is not limited to any geographic or demographic. It is a very real epidemic. For more detailed information you can visit the CDC’s site and pull up a variety of statistics.

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is stopping so many people from living out their lives and giving to the world. But true recovery is possible. We have the power to change these statistics. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

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Alcohol Killing Americans in Record Numbers

Alcohol Killing Americans in Record Numbers

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva 

There has been an influx of media attention on the heroin and painkiller epidemic which is now at record numbers. The focus in the media has been on the rise in overdose fatalities from heroin and prescription painkillers. Overdoses have more than tripled in the last decade and the numbers continues to rise at alarming rates. While raising awareness of the opioid epidemic is necessary and much needed, we still cannot take our attention away from the drug killing Americans the most: alcohol.

The biggest threat to Americans remains to be alcohol. Americans are dying from alcohol abuse at numbers that exceed anything we’ve seen in the past 35 years. The CDC estimates that in just the last year, over 30,700 people died from alcohol-related causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis of the liver.

In a little over a decade, the number of Americans who have died from alcohol have risen by 37 percent.  In 2014, more people died from alcohol-induced causes than from painkillers and heroin combined, says the CDC.

If you think these numbers are high due to alcohol-related accidents, you are wrong. These numbers do not even include deaths caused by alcohol like drunken driving incidences, and murders committed under the influence. If we were to count those deaths, the death toll would be up to 90,000.

Why do these numbers continue to climb? Researchers conclude it is simply because Americans are drinking more. The statistics prove this conclusion:

  • Americans who drink at least once a month rose from 54.9% to 56.9%.
  • 51.9% of women reported drinking at least monthly in 2014, up from 47.9% in 2002.
  • Binge drinking by women is up to 17.4% from 15.7% in 2002.

All in all, binge drinking is the major culprit. People who drink the most are at the highest risk for alcohol-related death. According to past research by Cook, the top 10% of American drinkers consume close to 74 drinks a week on average. Drinking at this rate is linked to a range of health complications, including cirrhosis, cancer, brain damage, drunk driving and other accident fatalities.

For more moderate drinkers, the health effects of alcohol remain less clear. The research and data from moderate drinking has been all over the place. Some data suggests moderate alcohol consumption; around one-to-two drinks per day may actually be healthy.

However, there is a gray line when it comes to moderate to harmful drinking. A recent study revealed that when used alone, alcohol was the deadliest recreational substance, followed by heroin and cocaine. For this reason, many are urging public health officials to shift focus away from the dangers of drugs like pot and LSD and focus more on educating people about the dangers of drinking.

Alcohol is a dangerous substance that when used in excess, can cause serious health consequences.  However, since alcohol remains more accessible than any other drug, it increases the risk of abuse. Alcohol is a socially accepted drug and has played a role in our culture for so long that many do not even realize they have a problem until it is too late.

Alcoholism is a serious disease and if you feel your drinking is getting out of control, do not wait to be a statistic, get treatment today. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Would Lowering the Drinking Age Increase High School Dropout Rates?

Would Lowering Drinking Age Increase High School Dropout Rates?

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

Could lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 lead to increasing the high school dropout rate? A new study believes so. The study first published in the latest issue of The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, examined dropout rates before the minimum drinking age was raised to 21 in 1984. Researchers discovered that 17-year-olds were affected by their 18-year-old peers because allowing 18 year old students in high school to have access to alcohol increased the chances that younger students would drink.

The lead author, Andrew Plunk observed that there was a 3% jump in dropout rates when the drinking age was 18. He also noted that “At-risk” groups like African Americans and Latinos had a 4% increase in dropout rates. Even more staggering, the dropout rate jumped by 40% for students whose parents had a drinking problem.

With 3.3 million teenagers expected to graduate from high school this year, a 3% jump in dropouts would amount to an additional 99,000 dropouts across the country. In a news release, Plunk stated:

“The minimum legal drinking age changes how easy it is for a young person to get alcohol. In places where it was lowered to 18, it’s likely that more high school students were able to get alcohol from their friends … if we lower the drinking age, it suggests to me that we’d see this same dropout phenomenon again.”

Despite the research, many colleges and even certain states have spoken in favor of lowering the drinking age to 18. Back in 2008, over 120 college chancellors and presidents signed a petition in favor of the idea.

Some states have come up with more creative solutions. Alaska introduce a bill in 2011 to allow active military member to drink at age 18 on the basis that if you’re old enough to serve in the military and die for your country, you’re old enough to drink.

Of course, there are a number of external environmental factors that might affect the connection between dropout rates and lowering drinking age. Despite that, Plunk still believes that a reduced drinking age could have an impact on minors. He states that laws need to remain in place to protect people are 15, 16, and 17 years old most vulnerable.

Next, we have to consider other countries that have a lower drinking age. Like me, you might be arguing that countries in Europe tend to have lower drinking ages and do just fine with them. Apparently, that’s a myth.  Plunk says that previous, separate research has revealed that European you do in fact have their share of alcohol problems.

So what about Europe? The US is always compared to Europe and we’re told that men and women have their first drink at an early age and develop a healthier relationship with alcohol. Well, according to Plunk, that’s a myth that won’t die. Plunk responded to the question posed by Medical Daily in an email. He said that previous, separate research has shown European youth do have their share of alcohol-related problems.

“For example, in 1990, France and Italy had higher per capita alcohol consumption and higher rates of cirrhosis deaths than in the U.S. Per capita consumption in France and Italy was 12.7 and 8.7 liters of alcohol, respectively, compared with 7.5 in the U.S.,” Plunk cited. “Cirrhosis death rates in France and Italy were 26.8 and 17 per 100,000, respectively, whereas the U.S. rate was 11.6. European countries are now looking to the U.S. for research and experience regarding the [drinking] age policy.”

Truthfully, more research is needed to be done to understand the true problems underage drinking could have on a country. When it comes to protecting youths from the harmful dangers of alcohol misuse, the CDC says that it will require community-based efforts to monitor the activities of you and decrease youth access to alcohol.

Alcohol abuse is unhealthy no matter what age you are though. Don’t let your alcoholism turn your life around. Get help for your addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Find Out the Overdose Death Rate in YOUR State

Find Out the Overdose Death Rate in YOUR State

Author: Justin Mckibben

Take a moment of silence and consider the facts. It’s not unlikely that right now somewhere someone is dying from a drug overdose.

In all reality, several people just like you and me will die today overdosing.

Drug overdose deaths have continued to scar our country at increasingly distressing rates. According to the most recent reports drug overdose death rates have increased in 26 states and Washington, D.C. as overdoses continue to outpace car crashes as the leading cause of injury-related deaths.

6 states have improved:

  • Washington
  • North Dakota
  • Maine
  • Florida
  • Arkansas
  • Alabama

But not everyone has been so fortunate, and the greater half has gotten worse as these state have been subjected to an epidemic that has claimed more lives in a tragic trend that is crippling families and communities all over.

So where does your state fall?

State Ranked Overdose Deaths

The following information was provided by a statistics and studies site claiming to pull all data from over 18,000 sources.

The statistics used for these rankings are for drug overdose death rates in the United States in 2014, sorted by U.S. states with number of deaths from drug overdose per 100,000 inhabitants. So the number doesn’t represent the total number of deaths, but the average per populous. The following list shows all 50 states from lowest to highest overdose death rate in the United States:

(Remember- # of deaths per every 100,000 people)

  • North Dakatoa- 3 deaths
  • South Dakota- 6.1 deaths
  • Nebraska- 7.3 deaths
  • Virginia- 8.4 deaths
  • Iowa- 8.5 deaths
  • Minnesota- 8.6 deaths
  • New York- 9 deaths
  • Texas- 9.9 deaths
  • Kansas- 10.4 deaths
  • Georgia- 10.8 deaths
  • Mississippi- 10.9 deaths
  • California- 11 deaths
  • Connecticut- 11 deaths
  • Maine- 11 deaths
  • Illinois- 11.1 deaths
  • Vermont- 11.3 deaths
  • New Jersey- 11.6 deaths
  • Alabama- 11.7 deaths
  • Hawaii- 11.7 deaths
  • Wisconsin- 11.8 deaths
  • Massachusetts- 12.1 deaths
  • Maryland- 12.2 deaths
  • Idaho- 12.3 deaths
  • Arkansas- 12.6 deaths
  • North Carolina- 12.6 deaths
  • Montana- 12.8 deaths
  • Louisiana- 12.9 deaths
  • Oregon-13.1 deaths
  • New Hampshire- 13.4 deaths
  • South Carolina- 13.5 deaths
  • Michigan- 13.9 deaths
  • Washington- 14 deaths
  • Alaska- 14.4 deaths
  • Colorado- 14.8 deaths
  • Indiana- 15.1 deaths
  • Florida- 15.2 deaths
  • Wyoming- 15.7 deaths
  • Missouri- 16.3 deaths
  • Delaware- 16.6 deaths
  • Tennessee- 17.2 deaths
  • Rhode Island- 17.3 deaths
  • Pennsylvania- 17.4 deaths
  • Ohio- 17.5 deaths
  • Arizona- 17.7 deaths
  • Oklahoma- 19.8 deaths
  • Utah- 20.1 deaths
  • Nevada- 22.2 deaths
  • Kentucky- 24 deaths
  • New Mexico- 24.8 deaths
  • West Virginia- 31.3 deaths

Surprised where your state is? I know I was!

Of course it is essential that you consider several elements that can contribute to these numbers. Some areas have a much smaller population, so state wide they will typically have more addicts and therefore more overdoses.

Still, looking at these averages and wondering how we can hope to curb such a depressing trend makes the mission seem of paramount importance.

Thankfully the numbers of states that have “rescue drug” laws that allow prescription access to overdose antidotes like naloxone have doubled since 2013, and new initiatives are consistently being developed and applied to try and educate citizens about drug abuse, overdose and their treatment options.

Not all overdoses are due to drug abuse either. While in a lot of cases it’s probably safe to assume the individual was a hard drug user or drug addict, it is not the only explanation. Some individuals don’t understand the dangers of mixing certain drugs with each other or with alcohol and the devastating effect it can have on the body.

Out of all this we can definitely determine one fundamental and undeniable truth- the epidemic is real. The problem is right here, and it’s across the nation on the west coast. It is back in my home town of Ohio (8) reaping havoc on the Midwest, and it is killing thousands everywhere in between. This isn’t just heroin, or opiates, but all drugs.

New initiatives aim to change all this. Support for treatment, harm reduction and education should render our current practices in the war on drugs obsolete, because these numbers show us America stands at this critical crossroads.

I personally challenge more people to get involved in raising awareness and speaking up, in memory of those we will lose today.

There is a way out. We each can do our part to change that statistic, and for the addict or alcoholic who still suffers there are thousands of people just like you who have recovered and who want to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

 

 

 

 

Alarming Top 10% in American Alcohol Use

American Alcohol Use Rates Above Average

Author: Justin Mckibben

Some Americans go home after a long day, and tend to ‘unwind’ by having a glass of wine with dinner. Just that one glass would put someone in the top 30% of American adults in terms of per-capita alcohol consumption. If they were to turn around and add another glass of wine, that would bump them up into the top 20%. But some still break through that to the top 10% barrier of American drinkers, who drink more than two entire bottles of wine with every dinner, not just once in a while. Even then with two bottles, one would still be below-average as far as alcohol consumption among those top 10% of Americans. Studies have shown that Americans in this top 10% of alcohol consumers go above and beyond to get there.

Above-Average Consumers

24 million adults over age 18 make up the top 10% of American drinkers. This demographic on average consumes 74 alcoholic drinks, and that is per week! For anyone who knows their way around a liquor store, that comes out to more than four-and-a-half 750 ml bottles of Jack Daniels, 18 bottles of wine, or three 24-can cases of beer. And yes, we are still talking about 1 week of drinking. Or if you want to narrow it down a little more, that’s about 10 alcoholic drinks per day. So some people are wondering, does America have a drinking problem?

These figures come from “Paying the Tab,” an economically-minded examination of the costs and benefits of alcohol control in the U.S. by Philip J. Cook. Specifically, these are calculations made using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) data. Philip J. Cook has made a huge contribution to related studies in his 40-year career at Duke University, and has provided the chance to teach and research on a variety of issues relating to public safety, health, and social policy.

“I agree that it’s hard to imagine consuming 10 drinks a day. There are a remarkable number of people who drink a couple of six packs a day, or a pint of whiskey.”

Statistics in the Alcohol Business

Cook stated during an interview in regards to double checking the figures and estimates of this recent publication of the study. In his book “Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control” Cook notes the top 10% of American drinkers account for well over half of the alcohol consumed in any given year! So out of all the alcohol in the entire country, that 10% is drinking more than half of it! On the other hand, people in the bottom three percentiles don’t drink at all, and even the median consumption among those who do drink is just three alcoholic drinks per week. In comparison it was next to nothing!

As surprising as this may seem to some people, the actually curve of this average isn’t exactly unique. According to Cook the Pareto Law states that “the top 20% of buyers for most any consumer product account for fully 80% of sales”. The rule can be applied to everything from whiskey, to Walmart flip-flops, to your regular morning Starbucks.

However the consequences of the Pareto Law are drastically different when it comes to industries like alcohol, tobacco, and now the growing marijuana business. Just as an example if you consume 10+ drinks per day, you almost certainly have a drinking problem. But the beverage industry is heavily dependent on this kind of consumption for their profits. So when it comes to raising awareness, of course the companies will do the bare minimum to stay in business. Cook writes,

“One consequence is that the heaviest drinkers are of greatly disproportionate importance to the sales and profitability of the alcoholic-beverage industry. If the top decile somehow could be induced to curb their consumption level to that of the next lower group (the ninth decile), then total ethanol sales would fall by 60 percent.”

So it is fair enough to say that based on these numbers, you can quickly make a connection between the over-all averages of consumers and see why there is such a concern with the prominent drinking problem in America. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are no rarity in today’s society, but often times it is swept under the rug, or people convince themselves that they do not qualify for that top 10%. In reality all it means is that more people need to learn the dangers of excessive alcohol abuse, and the reality of those who struggle with alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a progressive and deadly illness, and it can sneak up on those who consider themselves to be average or moderate drinkers. The top 10% of American drinkers consume more than most would have guessed, and with the rate of consumption rising, the risks of serious issues with alcohol abuse or alcoholism become more and more dangerous, and the threats of long last effects before more deadly. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or alcohol addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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