Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wisconsin not focused on drinking problems, steep health ranking decline

Impeachment and climate crises may have pushed this stunning reporting off your screens, but it's definitely worth absorbing:
Deaths from boozing and bingeing more than doubled in the past two decades, as alcohol consumption per person rose 8 percent, with sharp increases in the rate for women and middle-aged people.
I'd like to see Wisconsin educators, public officials - - and media beyond TMJ4's 'Drive Sober' awareness and action effort - - confront these known but tolerated facts in our state:
* Wisconsin second in US for binge drinking, study finds
The study puts the total cost of binge drinking in Wisconsin at $3.9 billion, primarily in lost productivity. "There are also costs associated with health care, (and) criminal justice," [study co-author Sarah] Linnan said. 
"Then there's an 'other' category that captures things like motor vehicle crashes, fire losses, fetal alcohol syndrome and things like that."
* Life expectancy drops in Wisconsin due to alcohol, drugs 
Wisconsin's alcohol-related death rate rose more quickly than the national average from 1999 to 2017. In Wisconsin, the rate was 13.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2017 compared with 11.0 per 100,000 nationally. 
Wisconsin's alcohol-related death rate was more than double in 2017 what it was in 1999 — increasing from 356 deaths to 780. 
Wisconsin's alcohol death rate increased by 101.5% in that span, which is above the national rate increase of 57%. 
* The latest excessive drinking and health ranking from the Centers for Disease Control:  
Excessive Drinking
U.S. Value: : 18.2%
Healthiest State: Utah: 11.3%
Least-healthy State: Wisconsin: 25.0%
Definition: Percentage of adults who reported either binge drinking (having four or more [women] or five or more [men] drinks on one occasion in the past 30 days) or chronic drinking (having eight or more [women] or 15 or more [men] drinks per week)
Data Source & Year(s): CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2018
Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, Accessed 2020. 
Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States behind tobacco and poor diet/physical inactivity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines excessive drinking as binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by individuals younger than 21 years or by pregnant women. Excessive drinking comes with short-term and long-term risks.
* Wisconsin's overall downward health trend relative to the other states from #7 to #23. 
 I've noted these issues often on this blog, here

Kathleen Falk, guest post: Confronting Wisconsin's Drinking Abuses


Wisconsin, Assembly, Under the Wrong Influences, passes weak OWI package


Wisconsin's Drinking Culture Needs Profound Attention

Wisconsin needs bipartisan push for stronger OWI laws

Wisconsin's Costly Drinking Culture on Further Display

Wisconsin Officials Under Alcohol Lobbies' Influence

Wisconsin dominates most-drunken cities' list: At what cost?

Wisconsin dominates most-drunken cities' list. Again.

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