Approximately 50,000 people are diagnosed for alcohol poisoning in the United States alone every year.
While some forms of alcohol, like red wine, are beneficial for the body when consumed in moderate amounts, alcohol is generally detrimental to human health. When consumed in excess it can even lead to alcohol poisoning, a condition wherein the alcohol content in a person’s blood increases to an extent wherein it hampers the normal functioning of the central nervous system. Statistics reveal that people who drink heavily once in a while are also prone to this condition.
Acute alcohol poisoning is triggered by excessive consumption of alcohol in a short period. The rise in blood alcohol content depends on several factors, including the speed at which alcohol is consumed and the rate at which the body metabolizes it. Most commonly observed poisoning symptoms include confusion, unconsciousness, difficulty in breathing, poor reflexes, pale skin, nausea, vomiting and, at times, even seizures. Although rare, the chances of the individual succumbing to this condition, especially if he is not subjected to proper treatment at the earliest, do exist.
Statistics on Alcohol Poisoning
The data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that excessive alcohol consumption results in death of around 1.8 million people worldwide every year. A large number of these deaths are attributed to alcohol poisoning. As the number of deaths in itself is so high, the number of people diagnosed for the same is difficult to estimate.
As far as the United States is concerned, approximately 50,000 individuals are diagnosed for this condition every year. This means that the number of individuals diagnosed for this condition each week could be well above 900. Most of these individuals are college students, who take to alcohol owing to peer pressure and curiosity. Around 150,000 college students are diagnosed with some or the other alcohol-related health problem every year.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that alcohol poisoning associated with binge drinking is also quite common in the U.S. Binge drinkers have the tendency to drink in large quantities, which can eventually surmount to poisoning. That is a serious concern, considering that 2.6 million people who indulge in binge drinking are in the age group of 12 to 17. It may come as a surprise for most of the people, but in the United States approximately 13,000 teenagers start drinking each day.
Most of the deaths due to poisoning are often misdiagnosed, which is a major hindrance when it comes to data compilation. A study carried out in the United States a while ago, revealed that at least one person dies due to alcohol poisoning every week. Drinking and driving is yet another cause of a large number of fatalities in the U.S. Around 39% of all traffic fatalities that happen in U.S. are attributed to poisoning symptoms, like confusion and poor reflexes.
It is very difficult to compile data about health conditions like alcohol poisoning, as most of the cases are either misdiagnosed or go unreported. The irony is that in spite of the enormous amount of money that is being spent on awareness campaigns, alcohol abuse continues to prevail as one of the major evils of the society.