There are limits to everything. But when those limits are crossed, everything gets worse. This is what happens when someone gets addicted to something. Not only the U.S. but also the entire world has been facing the problem regarding addiction of substances, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and many others. Government has taken necessary precautions to reduce the severity of addictions among people. It might have achieved little success but reducing the severity of addiction significantly is a huge challenge. The opioid addiction crisis is growing in the U.S. It has gained a lot of attention over the past couple of years. However, there is another addiction crisis that has not received much attention, but it is getting worse over time: alcohol addiction. According the recent study, one in eight American citizens is addicted to alcohol. There has been 50 percent increase in people abusing alcohol since the beginning of the century. This data underlines how severe the problem of alcohol addiction is getting in the country.
Though alcohol addiction is present since the beginning of civilization, determining how it has been costing has become one of the challenges of recent times. Alcohol has contributed to one in 10 deaths in working class U.S. citizens. The causes involve accidents and illnesses. According to the study of Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, there are nearly 90,000 deaths taking place every year in the U.S. due to alcohol abuse. The U.S. has been suffering a loss of nearly $250 billion per year due to lost productivity, healthcare expenses, and others resulted from excessive drinking, according to research published in National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Financial loses can be calculated, but personal sufferings and lives that have been ruined due to alcohol abuse are incalculable. Despite this fact, the country has shown negligence toward taking necessary measures to counter alcohol addiction. The U.S. government needs to put limitations on sales and advertising of alcohol. Moreover, it needs to apply higher taxes on alcohol. Many states have not indexed their alcohol taxes to inflation and federal taxes on spirits have not changed since 1991.
Making drinking expensive would reduce alcohol abuse considerably. Poor citizens will become reluctant to drinking and citizens from other classes would avoid drinking excessively. As a result, lack of excessive drinking would reduce harmful effects such as car crashes, crime, suicides, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Along with raising taxes, there are other ways in which government can reduce the consumption. Setting minimum price for each unit of alcohol contains in a drink would lead to restrictions on manufacturers to keep the cost as low as possible. Lawmakers in the U.S. need to have a clear understanding of the problem and devise ways to counter it. Attorney General Jeff Session declared drug overdose as the top lethal issue in the U.S. in 2016. So, alcohol addiction issue needs to be taken seriously. Else, there will be more deaths in the future and more financial losses.