The year 2020 showed the biggest increase ever in alcohol-related deaths in Wisconsin. New mortality rates from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) show an alarming increase in deaths directly linked to excessive alcohol use. This is also the case in Wisconsin but to an even greater extent and middle-aged people were impacted the most.

Data shows 1,077 Wisconsin residents died in 2020 due to alcohol-induced causes which are up from 865 in 2019. This is an increase of 24.5% which includes only deaths directly contributed to alcohol use.

Nationally the increase in alcohol-induced deaths was up 25.7% between 2019 and 2020 as more than 49,000 people lost their lives to alcohol-induced causes. These findings are part of the broader picture that alcohol use rose considerably nationwide at the start of the pandemic.

According to wispolicyforum.org Wisconsin is a state that statistically is known for binge drinking which exceeds the national average. From 1999 (the first year for which CDC data are available) through 2020, Wisconsin’s rate of alcohol-induced deaths per 100,000 residents nearly tripled, increasing from 6.7 to 18.5.

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The deaths examined in the study defined as alcohol-induced deaths do not include motor vehicle accidents, falls, or violence. According to wispolicyforum.org these deaths are "directly attributable to excessive drinking such as alcohol poisoning and certain liver, neurological, digestive system, or other diseases. In fact, around 90% of alcohol-induced deaths are from alcoholic liver disease or mental/behavioral disorders caused by the use of alcohol."

This is absolutely mind-blowing to think that these deaths from alcohol are to such an extreme that their death was strictly caused by drinking and not an accident from being intoxicated. It is common knowledge that drinking nationwide has increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic with job loss, illness, kids being homeschooled, and more. This is quite a sobering study and something for everyone to think long and hard about especially if you have noticed that your drinking intake has increased.

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