Excessive alcohol consumption is a major concern for public health and safety in the United States. Driving while intoxicated results in 28 motor vehicle deaths per day (CDC, 2016). According to the Center of Disease Control, 31% of fatal motor vehicle crashes result from impaired driving (CDC, 2016). Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to morbidity, injuries, violence, and risky sexual behaviors among individuals and is a major cause of miscarriages, stillbirths, and fetal alcohol syndrome among pregnant women who drink heavily (CDC, 2016). The dangers of excessive alcohol consumption pose many health risks to individuals and society, and creates a need for effective policies aimed at reducing consumption and alcohol related harms. This analysis will examine the severity of the issue, reveal the political, economic, social, legal, and practical landscape, and evaluate policies intended address the issue.
Excessive alcohol consumption has many negative implications for individuals, society, and the U.S. economy. In order for alcohol consumption to be considered excessive, five or more beverages must be consumed on one occasion for males or four or more beverages must be consumed on one occasion for females (CDC, 2016). This quantity of alcohol has been proven to significantly raise the blood alcohol content (BAC). Excessive alcohol consumption poses many health risks including arrhythmias of the heart, cardiomyopathy, and high blood pressure. It affects structure and function of the brain and interferes with its ability to perform tasks. It also affects coordination and mood, in some instances leading to anxiety or depression (NIH).
The cumulative affects of alcohol take a toll on the liver, ...
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...es in alcohol related crashes, the counties varied in with respect to alcohol related crashes. Some counties experienced high rates alcohol related crashes while there was not a noticeable increase in other counties. However, these counties that experienced minimal or no increase in alcohol related crashes were often communities that were very small, predominantly elderly populations, or had very few inhabitants (McMillan, 2007).
At local level, the study suggests that there is an increased likelihood of impaired motor vehicle accidents among populations where there were higher proportions of divorce or unemployment. Indicating that stress may be a factor in the excessive alcohol consumption.
Implementing policies that impose an excise tax on the sale of alcohol have also been associated with decreases in excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol related harms.
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