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While we often hear the term “alcohol abuse,” sometimes people who enter alcohol rehab programs think they’re the only ones with the problem.

On the other hand, others may feel that alcohol is a “safe” drug – able to be controlled with little serious risks.

Both concepts are wildly wrong, and a new World Health Organization report highlights the numbers:

“More than 3 million people died as a result of harmful use of alcohol in 2016, according a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) today. This represents 1 in 20 deaths. More than three quarters of these deaths were among men. Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5% of the global disease burden.”

“WHO’s Global status report on alcohol and health 2018 presents a comprehensive picture of alcohol consumption and the disease burden attributable to alcohol worldwide. It also describes what countries are doing to reduce this burden.”

Said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO: “Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke. It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies.”

Indeed, of the data show that alcohol abuse can result in a variety of negative outcomes.

The report states: “Of all deaths attributable to alcohol, 28% were due to injuries, such as those from traffic crashes, self-harm and interpersonal violence; 21% due to digestive disorders; 19% due to cardiovascular diseases, and the remainder due to infectious diseases, cancers, mental disorders and other health conditions.”