First up in the news this week is a look at a recent CDC report on causes of death for adults in the United States. According to their report, excessive alcohol consumption is the cause for many more deaths than we previously thought. Alcohol apparently plays a role in over 54 conditions linked to premature death according to the report’s author.
Various Co-morbid Factors and Causes of Death
These causes include pancreatitis, psychosis, esophageal cancer, oral cancer, falls, drowning, motor vehicle accidents and suicide. Binge drinking, drinking 4 or more drinks in one sitting, accounts for more than 51% of the alcohol deaths. Males were more likely than females with 71% of the deaths and the numbers varied greatly by state.
The differences by state varied from 19 deaths per 100,000 people in New Jersey to 51 Deaths per 100,000 people in New Mexico. This may be because of varying belief systems in different areas of the country and state laws surrounding alcohol use and sales.
Not Always an Alcoholic to Die From Alcohol
One thing one expert points out is that you don’t have to be labeled an alcoholic to be at risk for dying from an alcohol related cause. Moderation is an important factor and since it is a drug, overuse will cause medical problems.
EMS providers like you, me and other EMTs and paramedics can all do more to educate and implement prevention programs in our areas. Get active in prevention messages for you local media outlets. Work with the health department to educate teens and young adults in local colleges and schools about the dangers of alcohol abuse and how it relates to other health issues.
You can make a difference in your community and avert some potential tragedies while you lessen your call volume at the same time!
Followup on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Best Practices for Online EMS Training Discussion and Episode 395.