There are some staggering alcoholism statistics these days. The use of alcohol as a means to alter consciousness is on the rise, perhaps due to stress from job loss, additional responsibilities at work (so people turn to booze with or without the famed paycheck) and family demands. According to the National Health Interview Survey more than 50% of the population aged 18 or older uses alcohol as a stimulant/depressant. That doesn’t mean they are all alcoholics, but the social trend is that more people drink than not.
This trend towards social drinking accounts for much of the alcoholism in modern society, and while it can boost confidence in social situations, ease the blunt edge of stress, and make you temporarily forget your woes, the alcoholism statistics prove that drinking is fatal. There are over 14,000 annual deaths due to liver poisoning alone, and that doesn’t count drunk-driving accidents, or other drinking-related accidents, which hover around the 11,000 mark from year to year, varying slightly since 2008. Since the early 80s alcohol related deaths declined for many years, but the most recent statistics show that they are on the rise again.
Total annual mortality rates due to alcohol-related accidents and health issues are close to 35,000. The total annual traffic fatalities from all causes in the United States in 2009 (numbers are not yet available for 2010 and 2011) was around 350,000. This means that the alcoholism statistics we are looking at display a clean 10% causal rate. Although this seems small, it is large considering that alcohol-related deaths are largely self-imposed (we can choose to drink smaller amounts or not drink at all.) It could be zero.