22 Compelling Alcohol Overdose Statistics


Alcohol being consumed in excess is more common than many people think. Getting a good buzz on is often talked about, sung about, and even looked forward to obtaining after a hard week at work. Most people know when to stop, but not everyone does. Too much alcohol can lead to a case of acute poisoning that can be fatal. Drinking alcohol brings with it certain risks that millions of people don’t even think about when they indulge.

Facts About Alcohol Overdose

1. There are more than 2,200 deaths in the United States every year that are attributed to alcohol overdose. That’s about 6 people per day dying from alcohol.
2. There are over 50,000 cases of alcohol poisoning reported each year.
3. 75% of the fatalities that occur due to alcohol overdose involve adults ages 35-64. It happens to men more often than women.
4. Alaska has the highest rate of alcohol overdose in the United States with 46.5 deaths per million. That’s 9x higher than Alabama, which has the lowest rate in the country.
5. Alcoholism is a contributing factor to overdoses in 30% of the fatalities that have been documented.
6. 3% of those who suffer from an alcohol overdose also had drugs present in their system at the time of death.
7. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost in a 5 year period from 2006-2010.
8. Excessive drinking has been responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.
9. The economic cost of alcohol overdose to the general population: $1.90 per drink consumed.
10. 95% of people will be at risk for overdose after consuming 21 standard drinks in 6 or fewer hours.
11. Alcohol overdose becomes possible once a blood alcohol level reaches 0.28.
12. 50% of overdose victims have a blood alcohol level of 0.40.
13. US college and university campuses see an average of 50 alcohol overdose fatalities every year.
14. In 2012, 87% of people above the age 18 reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lives.
15. 1 in 4 people who consume alcohol regularly will binge drink at least once per month.
16. 7% of US adults have some form of an alcohol use disorder that could contribute to an accidental overdose.
17. Only 10% of those with an alcohol use disorder will receive any form of treatment for their alcohol habits.
18. 3.3 million people die around the world every year because of their alcohol use. Alcohol overdose is the 5th leading cause of preventable death in the world today. In the 15-49 age demographic, it is the first leading cause of preventable death.
19. More than 10% of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems.
20. 1 in 5 college students meet the diagnostic criteria of alcoholism.
21. 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.
22. 4.3% of the 12-20 age demographic in the United States self-reports that they are heavy drinkers already.

The simple fact is this: the more someone drinks at one sitting, then the higher their risk will be of having an alcohol overdose. The easiest way to stop being another statistics in this category is to avoid binge drinking whenever possible. Although alcoholism can also contribute to the issue, as can other drugs [especially painkillers], overdose deaths from alcohol are a major problem that should never be underestimated.

How Can Alcohol Overdoses Be Stopped?

The bottom line is this: responsibility. Responsibility isn’t looking at someone, shrugging your shoulders, and saying “Bad choices? Bad life.” More than 4% of American kids have a drinking problem. Sure – people do have a responsibility regarding their choices, but each community has a responsibility to recognize issues and step up to help when they can. Having a little alcohol isn’t a bad thing. Having a lot of alcohol destroys families and prematurely ends lives.

Only 1 in 10 people who are at risk of suffering from an alcohol overdose are going to receive the treatment they need in the next 12 months. That’s 90% of people who are being ignored, not being encouraged, or not being allowed to access the resources they need to begin the journey toward recovery. Every death that occurs because of alcohol overdose is a preventable one. In the US, there are 6 people scheduled to die today because of their drinking habits. We can and must do something about that.