Alcohol Related Deaths Are On The Rise In America

Alcohol-related deaths are on the rise in America, where mortalities caused by cirrhosis have increased by 65 per cent over the past 17 years.

The culprit - according to 'The BMJ' article that published the findings - is America's bad drinking habits. Between 1999 and 2016, over 34,000 people died of cirrhosis - that's an increase of 65 per cent over the study period. Common forms of liver cancer doubled too, adding another 11,000 Americans to the death toll over the study period.

Increased rates of cirrhosis have been seen across nearly all demographics, but the hardest hit are people aged 24 to 35. Meanwhile, a separate study found that people in this approximate age range are at high risk for developing alcohol abuse behaviors, which paints a stark picture of America's liquor problem.

The cirrhosis rate increase seems to begin in 2009, which - as Time magazine pointed out - directly follows the 2008 financial crisis, adding fuel to research that suggests unemployment and financial instability push many young men towards alcohol abuse.

One potential remedy could be cannabis legalization. Alcohol sales seem to be dropping in states that have legalized medical marijuana, and young people are increasingly choosing cannabis as their substance of choice.

Which is arguably a much safer choice since nobody has ever died of a marijuana overdose.

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Citing supply shortages, Ontario announced Thursday that they would now be taking a “phased approach” to issuing cannabis retail licenses. Despite earlier claims that they would not be capping the number of licenses for retail pot shops, they announced Thursday that they would, in fact, be limiting the number of licenses dispensed in April to 25. The province says that the licenses will be issued though a lottery system overseen by a third party to “ensure equality and transparency.” This, of course, is following the Progressive Conservative’s stark change in cannabis policy for the province after defeating the Ontario Liberal government in 2018.