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Study: Increasing The Price Of Booze Curbs Alcohol-Related Deaths

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File photo of a person walking by bottles of alcohol. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of a person walking by bottles of alcohol. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/GettyImages)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, an estimated 52 percent of American adults drink alcohol regularly – the results of which are incredibly dangerous for those who imbibe.

Statistics collected by the CDC show that approximately 15,990 deaths per year can be attributed to liver-related complications caused by drinking. Additionally, alcohol poisoning causes an estimated 25,692 deaths annually.

A new study published this week may have found one possible solution to the problem, however.

Researchers at the Center for Addictions Research of the University of Victoria have found that raising the prices of alcohol by a mere ten percent could significantly curb the amount of deaths caused by alcohol consumption.

“This study adds to the scientific evidence that, despite popular opinion to the contrary, even the heaviest drinkers reduce their consumption when minimum alcohol prices increase,” study lead Tim Stockwell was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Researchers additionally noted that the drop in alcohol-caused deaths was as significant as it was immediate – the ten-percent price spike reportedly led to a rapid 32 percent drop in the rate of deaths caused directly by drinking.

Those involved in the study also found an increase in the amount of deaths caused by alcohol in areas that saw an influx of booze purveyors while working out of the British Columbia office.

“We know minimum pricing of alcohol works to reduce consumption,” Stockwell noted in a press release issued by the University of Victoria. “This study tells how to implement the policy most effectively.”

According to Reuters, Stockwell and his team reached their conclusions by first categorizing alcohol-related deaths into three categories – wholly alcohol attributable, acute and chronic. Researchers then looked at death rates over periods of time corresponding with government-mandated pricing on alcoholic beverages.

The team’s findings were published Thursday in the journal Addiction, Reuters learned. The study can also be found on the website of the American Journal of Public Health.

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