Study: U.S. Alcohol-related deaths have more than doubled over l - FOX34 Lubbock

Study: U.S. alcohol-related deaths have more than doubled over last two decades

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

More people are dying from drinking too much, according to a new study.

The report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the NIH, found alcohol-related deaths per year increased by 50 percent from 1999 to 2017. 

The study found nearly 1 million alcohol related deaths in the last two decades. 

Dr. Juan Fitz, an ER physician at Covenant Medical Center, said overconsumption can have several effects on the body.

"If you overconsume, you become too relaxed and of course you can pass out, and the alcohol level, the higher it goes, the more it diminishes the respiratory drive," Fitz said.

Long term, he said it can cause cirrhosis of the liver and the brain to deteriorate.

The study shows more men have died of alcohol-related causes each year, but the increase over time was larger for women and middle-aged drinkers.

"Women cannot consume a lot of alcohol well because of their height and their weight compared to a male, who's able to consume a little bit more alcohol," Fitz said.

The answer to not dying by alcohol, Dr. Fitz said simply be mindful of how much you are drinking.

"Any kind of beverage that contains alcohol is dangerous. You have to be careful with it, like anything. You have to watch your consumption. If you're going to be drinking, make sure somebody goes with you," he said.

The study also adds death certificates often fail to show the contribution of alcohol, which means the numbers could be even higher.

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