Americans drinking more than before Prohibition, stats show

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This 1971 photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an alcoholic cirrhosis liver sample from an autopsy that shows a dense network of scar tissue in response to a chronic alcohol abuse injury. (Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr./CDC via AP)

The United States still has a problem with alcohol, public health experts say.

Americans drink more now than when the Prohibition was enacted in 1920, and alcohol-related deaths have increased in the past two decades, according to federal health statistics.

Statistics show an increase in consumption per person and increases in visits to the emergency room, hospitalizations and deaths related to alcohol consumption.

It is not clear and it is unknown when the statistics will fall again.

“Consumption has been rising. The damage (from alcohol) has increased, "said Dr. Tim Naimi, an alcohol researcher at Boston University." And there has been no matching political response. "

This 1971 photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an alcoholic cirrhosis liver sample from an autopsy that shows a dense network of scar tissue in response to a chronic alcohol abuse injury. (Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr./CDC via AP)

This 1971 photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an alcoholic cirrhosis liver sample from an autopsy that shows a dense network of scar tissue in response to a chronic alcohol abuse injury. (Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr./CDC via AP)

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Drinking in excess is associated with chronic dangers such as liver cancer, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Drinking for pregnant women can cause miscarriages, fetal deaths or birth defects. Health officials say alcohol is a factor in up to a third of serious falls among the elderly.

It is also a risk for others: driving while intoxicated or alcohol-fueled violence. Survey-based research suggests that more than half of the alcohol sold in the US UU. It is consumed during episodes of excessive alcohol consumption.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 88,000 Americans die each year as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, a figure higher than the opioid-related deaths seen in a current drug overdose epidemic.

This month, researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism published a different estimate of alcohol-related deaths. They scanned death certificates of more than two decades to seek mention of alcohol. The numbers were lower, with just under 73,000 in 2017. Investigators said death certificates may be incomplete and their number is probably an insufficient count.

The most important finding, according to other researchers, was that the number of alcohol-related deaths had doubled since 1999, and the death rate had increased by 50 percent. Some or much of that may be related to the increasingly deadly drugs used in the overdose epidemic, as many people drink while taking drugs, said Aaron White, the study's principal investigator.

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FILE - This archive photo from Monday, January 28, 2019 shows the scene of a multi-vehicle accident involving two trucks and a cyclist in Honolulu. Police say a suspicious drunk driver crashed into a busy intersection in Honolulu, killing two pedestrians and a cyclist and injuring five people, including himself. (Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

FILE – This archive photo from Monday, January 28, 2019 shows the scene of a multi-vehicle accident involving two trucks and a cyclist in Honolulu. Police say a suspicious drunk driver crashed into a busy intersection in Honolulu, killing two pedestrians and a cyclist and injuring five people, including himself. (Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

In the late 1910s, just before Congress banned the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages, every American teenager and adult consumed less than 2 gallons of alcohol a year on average.

These days it is about 2.3 gallons, according to federal calculations. These figures translate into almost 500 drinks, or about nine per week.

Historians say that drinking was heavier in the early 1800s, with estimates that in 1830 the average US adult. UU. It consumed the equivalent of 7 gallons a year.

That diminished when the temperance movement pressed for restraint, abstinence and, later, a national ban on the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

In 1919, Congress passed the 18th Amendment, instituting the ban. It entered into force on January 17, 1920, 100 years ago, this Friday, and lasted 13 years.

In 1934, one year after the Prohibition was repealed, per capita consumption was less than 1 gallon. It has been up and down since then. The apex was a period of excessive alcohol consumption in the 1970s and 1980s, when alcohol consumption per person in the United States was 2.75 gallons.

It was reduced in the mid-1980s, amid growing attention to drunk driving deaths and after Congress passed a law that raises the drinking age to 21. But it started rising again in the mid-decade. from 1990.

"I think people forgot all the problems" with alcohol, said William Kerr, senior scientist at the Alcohol Research Group at the California-based Institute of Public Health.

FILE - In this archive photo of June 16, 2016, bottles of wine are shown during a tour of a state liquor store in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, Archive)

FILE – In this archive photo of June 16, 2016, bottles of wine are shown during a tour of a state liquor store in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, Archive)

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Currently, there are indications that some people are taking alcohol seriously, such as the "Dry January" movement that circulates on social networks.

Associated Press contributed to this report.