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Alcohol-Related Emergency Room Visits Are on the Rise

January 11, 2018, 6:20 PM UTC

A study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that alcohol-related trips to the emergency room are increasing, with 61% more people visiting the ER in 2014 due to drinking than did in 2006.

The reason for the increase is unclear, NPR reports.

The study’s authors note that during the same time period, there was only a 2% increase in per capita alcohol consumption and only an 8% increase in overall ER visits. Aaron White, one of the study’s authors, suggests that one hypothesis might be that there’s an increase in risky drinking behaviors.

There was also a higher rate of ER visits during the time period amongst women specifically. Women are catching up to men when it comes to things like drunk driving, binge drinking, and deaths from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism.

And it’s not a cheap problem. A 2010 study found that excessive drinking costs an estimated $249 billion a year.