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Study: Opioids are bad, but alcohol is the real national crisis

Bottles of alcohol photo

A new study from the University of Michigan suggests...that while the opioid crisis receives widespread coverage from news agencies across the country, the dangers of alcohol are widely being under-reported, and overlooked.

According to researchers at the University of Michigan Addiction Centre, media attention has focused so heavily on the opioid crisis that alcohol abuse in the meantime, is not getting the attention it deserves when it comes to prevention policy, and education. Even though alcohol is statistically, deadlier than opioids.

Dr. Anne Fernandez, is an addiction psychologist at the University of Michigan. She is also the study’s lead researcher. “And while opioid use has gotten a lot of media coverage due to the high overdose rates--which are, by no means a good thing--alcohol kills (roughly) 80,000 people a year. Which is more than opioid overdose and all other drug overdoses combined,” Fernandez said.

The study also found that binge drinking by their subjects was often associated with other addictive drugs, like opioids or cocaine which increased the risk of a fatal overdose.

“When alcohol and drugs are mixed together, there were more severe outcomes such as hospitalization.," Fernandez said. "So, its common, and high risk.”

The study, recently published in the journal: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, points out that alcohol, used on its own, kills an average of six Americans every day.

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