The rate of alcohol-related visits to U.S. emergency departments (ED) increased by nearly 50 percent between 2006 and 2014, especially among females and drinkers who are middle-aged or older, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The data also show that total annual costs of alcohol-related visits increased from $4.1 billion to $15.3 billion during this time.

These findings highlight the growing burden of acute and chronic alcohol misuse on public health and underscore the opportunity for healthcare providers to conduct evidence-based interventions, ranging from brief interventions to referral to treatment, during alcohol-related ED visits.

The study findings are available online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

 

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