THE PROBLEM

Injuries

Unintentional Injury

Substantial research has found an association between numerous unintentional injuries and alcohol use, including falls, burns, and car crashes. Though data are old, one study found that 27% of those who suffered flame burns were intoxicated at the time of injury. [USAPAS19] Globally, 11% of all fatal falls are attributable to alcohol use, for a total of 76,000 alcohol-attributable deaths each year. [USAPAS20] 

Intentional Injury

Additionally, there is research connecting intentional injury and alcohol use:

  • Homicide: Alcohol consumption by the perpetrator and/or victim is a common factor in homicides. Rigorous reviews have found that in 48% of homicide offenders had consumed alcohol before committing the crime, and 37% had consumed enough to be considered intoxicated. [USAPAS21]

  • Suicide: After drinking alcohol, people are approximately seven times more likely to commit suicide than those who have not consumed alcohol. This risk increases to 37 times more likely after heavy use of alcohol use. Approximately 18% of suicides around the world are attributed to alcohol use. [USAPAS22] 

  • Intimate partner violence: 18% of interpersonal violence is associated with alcohol use; this equals 88,000 deaths from interpersonal violence around the world each year. [USAPA23] 

  • Sexual assault: Research, largely among college students, has found that frequent binge drinking was strongly associated with sexual assault as either the perpetrator or the victim had been drinking in approximately half of all sexual assaults. [USAPA24] 

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USAPA19 - Jones, J. D., Barber, B., Engrav, L., & Heimbach, D. (1991). Alcohol use and burn injury. The Journal of burn care & rehabilitation, 12(2), 148-152.


USAPA20 - World Health Organization, & World Health Organization. Management of Substance Abuse Unit. (2014). Global status report on alcohol and health, 2014. World Health Organization.


USAPA21 - Kuhns, J. B., Exum, M. L., Clodfelter, T. A., & Bottia, M. C. (2014). The prevalence of alcohol-involved homicide offending: a meta-analytic review. Homicide studies, 18(3), 251-270.


USAPA22 - Borges G, Bagge CL, Cherpitel CJ, Conner KR, Orozco R, Rossow I (2017). A metaanalysis of acute use of alcohol and the risk of suicide attempt. 47(5):949–57.


USAPA23 - World Health Organization, & World Health Organization. Management of Substance Abuse Unit. (2014). Global status report on alcohol and health, 2014. World Health Organization.


USAPA24 - Abbey, A., Zawacki, T., Buck, P. O., Clinton, A. M., & McAuslan, P. (2004). Sexual assault and alcohol consumption: What do we know about their relationship and what types of research are still needed?. Aggression and violent behavior, 9(3), 271-303

 
 
 
 
 
 

ABOUT US >

The U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance (USAPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization translating alcohol policy research into public health practice. The Alliance is committed to ensuring that local and statewide organizations engaging in alcohol policy initiatives have access to the science, resources and technical assistance, including support for organizing efforts, required to engage in informed decisions and actions in translating alcohol policy research into public health practice.

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