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Local Expert: Increase In Alcohol Deaths Not Surprising

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

A CDC study reports alcohol is responsible for over 250 American deaths every day.

Power of Putnam’s Amy Gibson said any increase in alcohol related deaths is not surprising.

“Alcohol can be a secondary contributor to many deaths from DUI and alcohol related accidents, to physical repercussions from long term use of alcohol as well,” Gibson said.

Gibson said alcohol is the number one abused drug. The CDC reports between 2011 and 2015, a 14.2 percent increase in alcoholic related deaths. Alcoholic liver disease deaths reported 23.6 percent increase annually.

The most effective prevention measure is pushing forward the age of onset. Gibson said in Putnam County the average age of initiation is around 13. She said a reason children begin drinking is the substance’s easy accessibility.

“There’s a low perception of risk or harm when using alcohol, and a low perception of parental disapproval with alcohol use,” Gibson said. “So that is how Power of Putnam works to combat many different community level change strategies.”

Anyone who believed they are suffering from alcohol dependency or abuse can contact a local anti-drug coalition, or the Tennessee Red Line.


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