Updated: 2023

Alcohol related deaths in the united states. More than 140,000 people died from alcohol-related causes annually from 2015 to 2019
  • The rate of all alcohol-related emergency department visits increased 47.0% between 2006 and 2014, which translates to an average annual increase of 210,000 alcohol-related emergency department visits.1
  • Alcohol contributes to approximately 18.5% of emergency department visits and 22.1% of overdose deaths related to prescription opioids.2
  • It is estimated that more than 140,000 people (approximately 97,000 men and 43,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth-leading preventable cause of death in the United States behind tobacco, poor diet and physical inactivity, and illegal drugs.3,4
  • An analysis of death certificates from 2019 and 2020 showed that deaths involving alcohol rose from approximately 79,000 to more than 99,000, a 25.5% increase.5
  • Between 2015 and 2019, the leading causes of alcohol-attributable deaths due to chronic conditions in the United States were liver diseases (e.g., alcohol-associated liver diseases and unspecified liver cirrhosis), cardiovascular diseases, cancers of various types (e.g., organs of the upper respiratory and digestive tracts, liver, colon, and breast), and alcohol use disorder (AUD).3
  • In 2020, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 11,654 deaths (or 30.0% of overall driving fatalities).6
  • According to the most recent estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 21.0% of suicide decedents have blood alcohol concentrations of 0.1% or more.7
  • Among people who die by suicide, AUD is the second most common mental disorder and involved in roughly 1 in 4 deaths by suicide.8
If you need suicide- or mental health-related crisis support, or are worried about someone else, please call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat with Lifeline to connect with a trained crisis counselor. To find alcohol treatment for yourself or an adult loved one, visit the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator.
According to CDC, due to scientific updates to Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI), estimates of alcohol-attributable deaths or years of potential life lost generated in the current version of ARDI should not be compared with estimates that were generated using the ARDI default reports or analyses in the ARDI Custom Data Portal prior to April 19, 2022.


  1. White AM, Slater ME, Ng G, Hingson R, Breslow R. Trends in alcohol-related emergency department visits in the United States: results from the nationwide emergency department sample, 2006 to 2014. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2018;42(2):352-9. PubMed PMID: 29293274
  2. Jones CM, Paulozzi LJ, Mack KM. Alcohol involvement in opioid pain reliever and benzodiazepine drug abuse-related emergency department visits and drug-related deaths—United States, 2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(40):881-5. PubMed PMID: 25299603
  3. CDC. Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact. [Table], Annual average for United States 2015–2019 alcohol-attributable deaths due to excessive alcohol use, all ages. [cited 2022 Apr 26]. Available from: https://nccd.cdc.gov/DPH_ARDI/Default/Report.aspx?T=AAM&P=612EF325-9B55-442B-AE0C-789B06E3A8D5&R=C877B524-834A-47D5-964D-158FE519C894&M=DB4DAAC0-C9B3-4F92-91A5-A5781DA85B68&F=&D=
  4. Pilar MR, Eyler AA, Moreland-Russell S, Brownson RC. Actual causes of death in relation to media, policy, and funding attention: examining public health priorities. Front Public Health. 2020;8:279. PubMed PMID: 32733836
  5. White AM, Castle IP, Powell PA, Hingson RW, Koob GF. Alcohol-related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA. 2022;327(17):1704-6. PubMed PMID: 35302593
  6. National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts: summary of motor vehicle crashes 2020 data [Internet]. Washington: U.S. Department of Transportation; 2022 Sept [cited 2023 Jan 20]. 11 p. Available from: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813369
  7. Alpert HR, Slater ME, Yoon YH, Chen CM, Winstanley N, Esser MB. Alcohol consumption and 15 causes of fatal injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2022;63(2):286-300. PubMed PMID: 35581102
  8. Berglund M, Ojehagen A. The influence of alcohol drinking and alcohol use disorders on psychiatric disorders and suicidal behavior. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998;22(7 Suppl):333S-345S. PubMed PMID: 9799958
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