10 Things to Know About Alcohol

Alcohol, a drug? The Foundation for a Drug-Free World shares 10 things you may not have known about alcohol so you can make informed decisions.
Alcohol is the ingredient in beer, wine and spirits that causes drunkenness.
Alcohol is the ingredient in beer, wine and spirits that causes drunkenness.

Alcohol has become an omnipresent element of social events and it can be difficult to consider it a drug, especially when it is drunk in moderation. However, repeated or excessive consumption can lead to dangerous short- and long-term effects.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World provides data about alcohol and other drugs to help you make your own decisions. Following are 10 cold, hard facts about alcohol:

  1. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of a vehicle accident death by at least seven times. In the US, alcohol consumption was responsible for nearly 28 percent of teenage motor vehicle deaths in 2019.
  2. Alcohol consumption contributes to three million deaths each year globally. That is six deaths every minute.
  3. The percentage of deaths caused by alcohol abuse is higher than the percentage of deaths caused by diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, driving injuries or violence.
  4. Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.
  5. Nearly 35 percent of the people over age 12 who abuse alcohol also consume an illegal drug.
  6. Alcohol kills more youth than all other drugs combined and regularly contributes to the three main sources of fatalities in 15- to 24-year-olds: accidents, homicides and suicides.
  7. Continued alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, nerve and brain damage, liver failure, sexual problems and certain types of cancer.
  8. For young adults 20–29 years of age, 13.5 percent of all deaths in this age bracket are attributed to alcohol.
  9. Many talented artists lost their life due to alcohol, from liver failure to suffocation and heart attacks, including John Bonham, best known as the drummer of Led Zeppelin.
  10. Alcohol has a long history of causing harm. Greek literature already contained many warnings against excessive drinking.

Do you still want a drink?

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