Measuring the Burden of Alcohol
Alcohol has been part of human culture for all of recorded history, and for most of that history people have understood its potential to harm both the person imbibing and the greater society. But measuring the true burden posed by alcohol on a local, national, and global scale can be challenging.
Researchers have tackled that challenge by creating new techniques and combining old ones to develop a more comprehensive picture of alcohol’s influence on health and economics. That picture shows a global increase in alcohol-related harms--not only from alcohol's ability to trigger alcohol abuse and alcoholism but also from its short- and long-term health consequences, including intentional and unintentional injuries, chronic and acute illnesses, and even death.
This Alert assesses alcohol’s burden on morbidity and mortality, separate from its role in alcohol use disorders. It details alcohol’s global, national, and local impact on health and the economy and its effect on different subpopulations, such as children and adolescents, college students, different ethnic groups, and women