Rise in death spurs efforts to raise alcohol taxes

Alcohol-related deaths have also increased during the pandemic, soaring 25% in 2020 from the previous year. But the death toll – which has reached 140,000 nationwide – has been rising for decades in every state. Few places have seen a larger increase than Oregon, where alcohol-related deaths increased 2.5-fold between 1999 and 2020, after adjusting for changes in the state’s age distribution.

Grove’s only son, Jonathon, started drinking excessively while in college, she said, but managed to work as a pharmacy technician for several years at Oregon Health Sciences University despite her Addiction is getting worse. Cheap beer and white wine are his weak points. “He always thought he didn’t drink hard, so he wasn’t really an alcoholic,” Ms. Grove said. He died in a cheap hotel surrounded by empty cans and barrels.

Various studies in recent years have shown that moderate drinking is also associated with health risks, including cardiovascular. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that men have no more than two drinks per day and women no more than one drink.

Eric Roth, chief of emergency medicine at two Kaiser Permanente hospitals in the Portland area, estimates that 10% to 30% of his patients have an illness or injury that is at least partially related to alcohol consumption. “It’s always been a big deal,” he said, “and it’s become a big deal day by day.”

To address substance abuse, Oregon has emphasized education and treatment to address substance use. A ballot measure passed in 2020 that would limit possession of small amounts of all drugs also diverted hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes from marijuana to rehabilitation services, including alcohol. This summer, Oregon sponsored a “Rethink Drinks” campaign.

Dr Tim Naimi, director of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria, has labeled the educational campaigns as “fig leaves” and says the treatment, although helpful, is like beans. ambulance below the cliff rather than the barrier on the cliff. to prevent people from falling. Measures to prevent excessive drinking would be less expensive and more effective, he said. “If you want to talk about prevention, you have to talk about policies.”

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