More people are consuming alcohol in risky ways. That’s not a good trend.
After a season of indulgence, many Americans resolve to drink less in the new year. It’s a common pledge — many of us can recall cringe-worthy texts sent after a raucous night out or a regrettable comment uttered after that third glass of wine.
These intentions are rooted in a stark reality. For all the deserved attention the opioid crisis gets, alcohol overuse remains a persistent public health problem and is responsible for more deaths, as many as 88,000 per year. While light drinking has been shown to be helpful for overall health, since the beginning of this century there has been about a 50 percent uptick in emergency room visits related to heavy drinking. After declining for three decades, deaths from cirrhosis, often linked to alcohol consumption, have been on the rise since 2006.