The national conversation around addiction has been dominated in recent years by opioids. Certainly, the rapid rise in opioid overdoses, which claimed 42,000 lives in 2016 alone, is a pressing issue for states across the country. The White House has declared a national public health emergency over the epidemic, and governments everywhere are marshalling efforts to combat the crisis.
But the fact is that alcohol kills roughly 88,000 Americans each year, more than double the number of opioid deaths. Almost half of alcohol fatalities come from chronic health problems attributed to excessive alcohol consumption, such as liver cirrhosis, breast cancer and heart disease. Those alcohol-induced deaths are on the rise. Excluding certain acute causes, such as homicides and traffic fatalities, the rate of alcohol-induced deaths increased by about 47 percent between 1999 and 2015. Read more here.