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Middle-Aged People Dying from Alcoholism

Dying from alcoholism is a terrible thing. Liver disease, cirrhosis, and alcoholic hepatitis are horribly unpleasant for everyone involved. Alcohol can also be a factor in cancer, and an alcoholic who takes Tylenol (Acetaminophen) with alcohol still in her system can face kidney or liver disease. Now, a new study has come out to show that more deaths from alcohol poisoning occur in the middle age years, not in the teen or early adult years, which are often targeted as years of heavy binge-drinking. This post will take a look at the issue of alcoholic deaths, including these topics:

  • Who is at risk?
  • Breakdown by Age
  • Recognize Alcoholic Poisoning

Who is at risk?

Men are far more likely to die of alcohol poisoning, leading women 76-24%. Since drinking is largely considered a macho way to pass time, this is not so surprising. It’s also common for men to gauge their virility or toughness by how much alcohol they can ″handle.″ With an increased tolerance for alcohol, men seem to face greater chances for damage and long-term, chronic problems. The CDC also reports that white, non-Hispanic people comprise 68% of all poisoning deaths. This group is also approximately 63% of the entire population and the death rates by ethnicity roughly track with overall ethnic breakdowns.

Breakdown by Age

Alcoholic death is highest between the ages of 35 and 64, with that span comprising 76% of all alcohol poisoning deaths. 34% of those deaths are between the ages of 45 and 54. By comparison, the range between ages 15 and 43 only accounts for 18% of poisoning deaths. Many claims that the male body begins to deteriorate at a faster rate after the age of 35. It is less resilient and increasingly prone to damage. These numbers seem to verify that claim, showing that only few alcoholics can live to retirement age. Only 6% of poisoning deaths occur after the age of 65. Presumably, most heavy drinkers and alcoholics have either died or gotten sober prior to that point.

Recognize Alcohol Poisoning

The surest way to prevent alcohol poisoning is to not drink. The second best way is to drink in moderation. For an alcoholic, moderation is not an option. So, for active drinkers, and their loved ones, it is vital to be aware of the risks associated with their drinking. If the drinker displays an inability to wake, excessive vomiting, slow breathing, 10 seconds or more between breaths, seizures, or hypothermia, please contact call emergency services (911) to request treatment. No matter the age of an alcoholic, it is important to watch for these signs, but the risks increase greatly after the age of 35.

There is hope. For heavy drinkers, detox and then residential treatment are options for people suffering from alcoholism. If you have a loved one going through this, you may need to do an intervention.


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Drug & Alcohol Inpatient Rehab is located in the heart of West Hollywood, California. KLEAN’s residential center offers a 26 bed, open air, dog-friendly environment to participants looking for something that feels more like home. Our facility offers support for participants struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues.
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