Excessive drinking accounts for one in every nine deaths in Oregon, according to a study out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s slightly higher than the national average of one in 10 deaths.
The study looked at binge drinking, defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more for men, as well as heavy drinking, which is eight drinks a week for a woman and 15 for a man.
Lead author Mandy Stahre says it’s not just college students who abuse alcohol.
“What we were hoping with this study was to make people more aware that it’s a problem among working aged adults,” she said. “And we also focused on 54 different causes of death that alcohol contributes to, and some people may not be aware of that.”
Those include include breast cancer, liver disease and heart disease for long-term drinkers. For binge drinkers, the cause of death is more likely to be violence, alcohol poisoning or a car crash.
Stahre says alcohol death rates vary among the states because of factors like ethnic make up, religious attendance and enforcement of alcohol laws.