WASHINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that there were 88,000 annual deaths between 2006 and 2010 due to binge drinking and regular heavy drinking. Even more devastating were the other 792,000 yearly deaths that could have been, but were not, made more pleasant and tolerable via alcohol consumption. This means that 9 in 10 people died without the body- and mind-numbing effects of alcohol.
“This report from the CDC is a good wake up call for adults,” said David Jernigan, psychiatry professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It shows that something needs to be done. There have been numerous reports of patients responding much better to bad news, blood tests, and nurses after consuming just two beers of their choosing,” reported Jernigan.
“It’s hard to see the patients going through their diseases without alcohol,” says Dr. Charles Connor, lead researcher for the CDC. “I’ve seen family members come to visit sober patients at the hospital multiple times a day. If these patients had simply allowed our trained nurses to fill their IVs with tequila sunrises, they also would have enjoyed these family visits.”
Unfortunately, not everybody believes that alcohol consumption could have helped mitigate these numerous deaths, as evidenced by a drug called naltrexone. This monthly shot (or daily 50 mg pill, if so desired) dulls the feeling of drunkenness when heavy drinking ensues.
Dr. Connor hopes to detract people from naltrexone if they want to steer clear of death without alcohol alleviation. “We have suggested that if our patients want to take naltrexone, they increase their alcohol consumption to more disciplined, heavier drinking habits,” Dr. Connor explains. For instance, the moderate drinker –those women who enjoy one drink per day men drinking up to two drinks daily– is suggested to “up their game” to binge drinking levels– that is, four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in one sitting.
Not only are hospitals increasing their use of alcohol on patients, but also typical office settings are finding ways to help their employees. Untimely deaths from staple-gun accidents and computer screen shard cuts happen regularly, and these sorts of problems are not going to go away anytime soon.
A thriving workplace example of this is the Kathie Lee and Hoda segment from “The Today Show,” where they have mandated that all water coolers must be accompanied by wine coolers. Since this institution, employees are reportedly happier, deaths have been alleviated, and viewership of the show has risen.
Other companies, including Google, Facebook, and Goldman Sachs, are encouraging “icing” coworkers with Smirnoff bottles hidden throughout the building. The issues in the workplace will never fully go away, but these corporations are certainly trying to make them more manageable.
Jernigan explains, “We’ve already lost too many lives without the effects of alcohol. I hope that people will begin to take this matter seriously and consider having at least one stiff drink per day, just in case.”