Millions of people worldwide consume alcohol, but it also takes the lives of millions each year. Back in 2012, alcohol was the sole culprit for the 3.3 million folks who lost their lives, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. In addition, 16 percent of alcohol drinkers around the world can be categorized as binge drinkers.
The new report examined the trends of alcohol consumption in 194 WHO member states. Of this list, Europe sits on top of every other region with the largest alcohol consumption per capital. However, over the last five years, the rate at how much people drink alcohol in Europe has been quite stable.
In the Americas and throughout Africa, alcohol consumption rate has been unchanged in the last five years, though the same cannot be said for South East Asia and the Western Pacific regions, as alcohol use has increased in these parts of the world.
The report shows that alcohol mortality is mainly a problem for men than women. Apparently, 7.6 percent of all men die from alcohol use, while only four percent for women. However, alcohol abuse amongst women is on the rise, which could mean the death percentage might increase in the coming years.
Bear in mind that excessive alcohol consumption is never a good thing. It is known to cause cirrhosis of the liver, various types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and even mental issues along with a long lasting addiction. Furthermore, alcohol use could lead to drowning, falling to one's death, and car dangerous car accidents that not only threaten the life of the abuser, but innocent bystanders, as well.
"More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption," says Dr. Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. "The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol."
According to the report, every person in this world, ages 15 years and older, drink around 6.2 liters of alcohol each year. However, less than half of the population drinks alcohol, so those who drink on a regular basis consumes around 17 liters of the substance per year.
"We found that worldwide about 16% of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking - often referred to as 'binge-drinking' - which is the most harmful to health," explains Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Director for Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO. "Lower-income groups are more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol. They often lack quality health care and are less protected by functional family or community networks."