According to the CDC, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year in the U.S. from 2006–2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Excessive drinking was responsible for one in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years.
What is excessive drinking?
Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21. Note that most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.
Short-term health risks
Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls or drowning.
Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault or domestic violence.
Risky sexual behavior, which can result in unintended pregnancy or STDs.
Miscarriage, stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Long-term health risks
High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems.
Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon.
Learning and memory problems, including dementia.
Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems and unemployment.
Alcohol dependence or alcoholism.
How do I know if I have a drinking problem?
Drinking is a problem if it causes trouble in your relationships, at your job or in school, in social activities or in how you think and feel. Help is available. If you are concerned that either you or someone in your family might have a drinking problem, consult your personal health care provider.