The Foreign Affairs News The Leading News Portal
Jun 26, 2024

Use of alcohol, drug claim over 3 million lives annually

Avatar photo
FA News Desk

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that nearly 2.6 million deaths per year were attributable to alcohol consumption, accounting for 4.7% of all deaths, and 0.6 million deaths to psychoactive drug use.

Notably, 2 million of alcohol and 0.4 million of drug-attributable deaths were among men.

According to the press report released by the WHO, it said alcohol and health and treatment of substance use disorders provides a comprehensive update based on 2019 data on the public health impact of alcohol and drug use and situation with alcohol consumption and treatment of substance use disorders worldwide.

The report shows an estimated 400 million people lived with alcohol and drug use disorders globally. Of this, 209 million people lived with alcohol dependence.

The report highlights the urgent need to accelerate actions globally towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.5 by 2030 by reducing alcohol and drug consumption and improving access to quality treatment for substance use disorders.

The death rates due to alcohol consumption per litre of alcohol consumed are highest in low-income countries and lowest in high-income countries. 

Of all deaths attributable to alcohol in 2019, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were from noncommunicable diseases, including 474 000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases and 401 000 from cancer.

Some 724 000 deaths were due to injuries, such as those from traffic crashes, self-harm and interpersonal violence. Another 284 000 deaths were linked to communicable diseases.

Total alcohol per capita consumption in the world population decreased slightly from 5.7 litres in 2010 to 5.5 litres in 2019 showing highest levels of consumption in the European Region (9.2 litres) and the Region of Americas (7.5 litres) in 2019.

Globally, 23.5% of all 15–19-year-olds were current drinkers. Rates of current drinking were highest among 15–19-year-olds in the European region (45.9%) followed by the Americas (43.9%).

Meanwhile in another report, nearly one third (31%) of adults worldwide, approximately 1.8 billion people, did not meet the recommended levels of physical activity in 2022. The findings point to a worrying trend of physical inactivity among adults, which has increased by about 5 percentage points between 2010 and 2022.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults have 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or equivalent, per week. Physical inactivity puts adults at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancers such as breast and colon.

The study was undertaken by researchers from WHO together with academic colleagues and published in The Lancet Global Health journal.

The highest rates of physical inactivity were observed in the high-income Asia Pacific region (48%) and South Asia (45%), with levels of inactivity in other regions ranging from 28% in high-income Western countries to 14% in Oceania.