Everyone can help prevent excessive alcohol use. Learn how you can take action.
Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day. These deaths shorten the lives of those who die by an average of almost 29 years, for a total of 2.8 million years of potential life lost. It is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and cost the nation $249 billion in 2010.
More than half of alcohol-attributable deaths are due to health effects from drinking too much over time, such as various types of cancer, liver disease, and heart disease. However, short-term health effects from consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time accounted for most of the years of potential life lost, such as deaths due to poisonings that involved another substance in addition to alcohol (e.g., drug overdoses), suicide, and motor vehicle crashes.