National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2022
March 21, 2022
Guest blog from the Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the opioid epidemic cannot be understated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Health Statistics reported drug overdose deaths exceeded 100,000 from April 2020 through April 2021 in the U.S. This is a staggering 28.5% increase from the previous 12-month time period and was primarily driven by opioids. Michigan’s overdose deaths increased by an estimated 6.57% (National Vital Statistics System).
During the COVID-19 lockdown, alcohol consumption estimates increased by 60% throughout the U.S. In Michigan, over 3,200 deaths are associated with excessive alcohol use annually. The majority of these deaths are males over the age of 35. Nearly 4% of annual alcohol related deaths in Michigan are of those under the age of 21. Binge drinking alcohol is most common in youth.
The average alcohol content by volume for beer is 5%, wine is 12%, and an 80-proof liquor is 40%. A “standard drink” is one 12 ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate alcohol consumption for adults as two drinks for men and one drink for women per day. Over-consumption of alcohol can lead to both immediate and chronic consequences to health.
The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics estimates 95,000 Americans die annually from effects related to alcohol use. The most common fatal effects are liver disease accounting for over 30% of deaths, alcohol poisoning at nearly 15%, and suicide just under 11%.
Being informed about the risks of alcohol and substance use disorders help prevent unhealthy consumption. Some recreational drugs and substances, like alcohol and marijuana, are legal for use by adults over the age of 21 in Michigan. Adolescents and young adults who use alcohol and other drugs are at greater risk for developing substance use disorders later in life and preventing exposure to these substances prior to is important.
To learn more about substance use disorders, drug and alcohol dependence, or to find local recovery services, see the resources below.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP(4357) or FindTreatment.gov
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): drugabuse.gov
- Campus Drug Prevention: www.campusdrugprevention.gov
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1
To reach your Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center or your local poison center call 1-800-222-1222. Help is available 24/7/365.