Substance Use Disorders
- Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for an average of 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and cost $223.5 billion ($1.90/drink) in 2006. Comparable state estimates of this cost are needed to help inform prevention strategies.
- Public policy can limit alcohol consumption and its associated harm, but no direct comparison of the relative efficacy of alcohol control policies exists for the U.S.
- Significant increases in alcohol and tobacco taxes are among the most effective policies governments have for improving public health. Higher alcohol taxes reduce the prevalence, frequency, and intensity of drinking,1 as well as the traffic crashes, liver cirrhosis, violence, and other health and social consequences of harmful drinking.2 Likewise, increases in tobacco taxes promote cessation among adult users, prevent young people from taking up tobacco use, and reduce the death, disease, and economic consequences caused by tobacco.
- Excessive alcohol consumption causes 79,000 deaths annually in the U.S., shortening the lives of those who die from it by approximately 30 years. Although alcohol taxation is an effective measure to reduce excessive consumption and related harm, some argue that increasing alcohol taxes places an unfair economic burden on “responsible” drinkers and socially disadvantaged people.