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Alcohol Consumption Causes 2.6 Million Deaths Annually

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 400 million people worldwide suffer from diseases related to alcohol and drug use, with 209 million people addicted to alcohol. Each year, alcohol consumption results in 2.6 million deaths, while drug use accounts for 600,000 deaths, with a significant number being men.

The report indicates that these results are based on 2019 statistics regarding medical issues and treatments related to alcohol and drug use. Since 2010, there has been a slight decrease in deaths caused by alcohol consumption; however, the overall number remains alarmingly high.

The report also highlights that low-income countries, such as those in Africa, have the highest number of deaths per liter of alcohol consumed, while high-income countries, like those in Europe, have the lowest rates.

According to 2019 data, 1.6 million of the deaths from alcohol consumption were due to non-communicable diseases caused by this habit. This includes 474,000 individuals who died from heart diseases and 401,000 from cancer. Additionally, 724,000 deaths were due to traffic accidents, self-harm, and violent confrontations linked to alcohol consumption.

While effective treatments for diseases caused by drug use are available, very few people have access to them. In 2019, the percentage of drug users receiving treatment services ranged from less than one percent to a maximum of 35 percent in different regions.

The WHO emphasizes the need for actions that reduce the negative health and social consequences of alcohol consumption and make treatment for drug-related diseases more accessible and easier to obtain. The report calls for accelerated measures to reduce alcohol and drug use and provide quality treatment for drug-related diseases, aiming to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.5.

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