More than three million people dies annually due to alcohol in the world. Among young adults, alcohol is the main risk factor behind ill health and premature death.
Alcohol is connected over 200 different medical conditions and to many accidents, both in the workplace and in traffic. There are also clear links between alcohol and violence.
In low- and middle-income countries The health effects of alcohol often have greater consequences than in high-income countries. Social safety nets are lacking and access to care and treatment for addiction problems is often very poor.
Non-communicable diseases is behind 70 percent of all deaths globally and is a rapidly growing problem in low- and middle-income countries. Alcohol is one of the main risk factors.
The four main types of non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. Behind these are four main risk factors: smoking, alcohol, unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity.
Researchers note that an increasing part of the disease burden in the world is due to non-communicable diseases. Africa is the continent where the problems of non-communicable diseases are increasing fastest.
That alcohol causes Several forms of cancer have been known to researchers for a long time - but unfortunately the knowledge is not so well spread in the population.
That alcohol can cause harm to the drinker is well known. Injuries that occur in others than the drinker are not discussed as often - even though they are a large part of the problems.
Several studies show that the secondary damage of alcohol is in fact greater than the direct damage of those who drink. This makes alcohol as a risk factor unique, even in comparison with, for example, tobacco: There, damage to others has often been used as an argument for more regulation, while the damage is absolutely greatest among tobacco users themselves.
Children and families are often extra vulnerable, but the damage panorama also includes general crime and large societal costs.
HIV and AIDS is still a very big problem in the world. The links between HIV and alcohol have become increasingly clear as more research has been done - both in terms of the spread and treatment of the disease.
Forut has published one summary of facts about HIV and alcohol that you can find here. The ADD Resources page also has one theme page on the same topic.
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