Hospitalizations for Alcohol and Drug Overdoses in Young Adults Ages 18–24 in the United States, 1999–2008: Results From the Nationwide Inpatient Sample

Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9304, USA.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs (Impact Factor: 2.76). 09/2011; 72(5):774-86. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2011.72.774
Source: PubMed


Recent reports indicate an increase in rates of hospitalizations for drug overdoses in the United States. The role of alcohol in hospitalizations for drug overdoses remains unclear. Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs is prevalent in young adults ages 18-24. The present study explores rates and costs of inpatient hospital stays for alcohol overdoses, drug overdoses, and their co-occurrence in young adults ages 18-24 and changes in these rates between 1999 and 2008.
Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample were used to estimate numbers, rates, and costs of inpatient hospital stays stemming from alcohol overdoses (and their subcategories, alcohol poisonings and excessive consumption of alcohol), drug overdoses (and their subcategories, drug poisonings and nondependent abuse of drugs), and their co-occurrence in 18- to 24-year-olds.
Hospitalization rates for alcohol overdoses alone increased 25% from 1999 to 2008, reaching 29,412 cases in 2008 at a cost of $266 million. Hospitalization rates for drug overdoses alone increased 55%, totaling 113,907 cases in 2008 at a cost of $737 million. Hospitalization rates for combined alcohol and drug overdoses increased 76%, with 29,202 cases in 2008 at a cost of $198 million.
Rates of hospitalizations for alcohol overdoses, drug overdoses, and their combination all increased from 1999 to 2008 among 18- to 24-year-olds. The cost of such hospitalizations now exceeds $1.2 billion annually. The steepest increase occurred among cases of combined alcohol and drug overdoses. Stronger efforts are needed to educate medical practitioners and the public about the risk of overdoses, particularly when alcohol is combined with other drugs.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "The freshman year is also often marked by unhealthy habits including poor eating habits, physical inactivity and heavy drinking (Larson et al., 2011; Osberg et al., 2012). Negative alcohol-related consequences include drinking and driving, physical/sexual assault, serious injury, and fatalities (Hingson, 2010; White et al., 2011). Personality factors predispose college students to heavy drinking and alcohol-related risks (Ham et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: College students engage in many unhealthy behaviors, one of these, heavy alcohol use, is a major global public health problem. Objective: This longitudinal study examined whether students' mandated/voluntary status in a program to reduce college drinking was associated with overall health, ethnicity, gender, and personality traits. Both mandated and voluntary groups participated in the Motivational Intervention (MI) program to prevent high risk drinking. Methods: Freshmen (710 voluntary, 190 mandated, n = 900) between the ages of 18 and 21, received the MI at baseline and again at 2. weeks, with boosters at 3, 6 and 12. months. Participants completed three measures: the Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ); the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS), and the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II (HPLPII). Mandated and voluntary participants were compared at baseline and following the intervention using two sample t-tests for continuous variables (overall health, personality traits, drinking measures), and chi-square for categorical variables (gender, ethnicity). Linear mixed models were used to identify associations between HPLP II scores and mandated/voluntary status, time, ethnicity gender and SURPS scale scores. Results: In both groups, alcohol consumption dropped significantly by 12. months. Overall health-promoting behaviors, physical activity, stress management, and interpersonal relations improved in both groups between baseline and 12. months. Associations were found between alcohol consumption, personality traits, gender, and lifestyle health-promoting behaviors. In particular, impulsivity and hopelessness were associated with poor health behaviors. Conclusions: Intervention programs to reduce drinking by college students need to address developmental dynamics of freshmen students, including gender, psychosocial factors, personality, and lifestyle health-promoting behaviors.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015
  • Source
    • "Indeed , a large body of literature documents a significant relationship between (extensive) alcohol consumption in young people and various negative outcomes, such as crime (Carpenter 2005a), risky sexual behavior and teenage pregnancy (Sen 2003; Carpenter 2005b), suicide (Birckmayer and Hemenway 1999; O'Connell and Lawlor 2005), lower academic performance (Carrell et al. 2011), lower employment and higher risk of unemployment (Mullahy and Sindelar 1996), adverse health effects such as mortality and hospitalization (Chaloupka and Xu 2011; Kim et al. 2012), and motor vehicle fatalities (Ruhm 1996; Dee 1999). High-risk drinking has been increasing in the last years among young people in the United States (White et al. 2011) and across much of Europe, including Germany (DHS 2008). Figure 1 reports trends in alcohol-related hospitalization rates among adolescents and young adults in Germany, a country where young people can legally buy beer and wine starting with the age of 16. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Excessive alcohol consumption among young people is a major public health concern. On March 1, 2010, the German state of Baden-Württemberg banned the sale of alcoholic beverages between 10pm and 5am at off-premise outlets (e.g., gas stations, kiosks, supermarkets). We use rich monthly administrative data from a 70 percent random sample of all hospitalizations during the years 2007-2011 in Germany in order to evaluate the short-term impact of this policy on alcohol-related hospitalizations. Applying difference-in-differences methods, we find that the policy change reduces alcohol-related hospitalizations among adolescents and young adults by about seven percent. There is also evidence of a decrease in the number of hospitalizations due to violent assault as a result of the ban.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Public Economics
  • Source
    • "However, some people drink far beyond the binge threshold, resulting in alcoholic trauma (White et al. 2006). While binge drinking is reported in 20% of American high school students, 10% of them experience extreme binge drinking, with up to 15 drinks in a single occasion (Patrick et al. 2013), leading to a 25% increase in hospitalization rates for alcohol overdoses during the last decade (White et al. 2011). Such alcohol consumptions can lead to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 300 mg/dL for a 160-pound male and 400 mg/dL for a 140-pound female (White and Hingson 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A major cause of alcohol toxicity is the production of reactive oxygen species generated during ethanol metabolism. The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of binge drinking-like alcohol exposure on a panel of genes implicated in oxidative mechanisms in adolescent and adult mice. In adolescent animals, alcohol decreased the expression of genes involved in the repair and protection of oxidative DNA damage such as atr, gpx7 or nudt15 and increased the expression of proapoptotic genes such as casp3. In contrast, in the adult brain, genes activated by alcohol were mainly associated with protective mechanisms that prevent cells from oxidative damage. Whatever the age, iterative binge-like episodes provoked the same deleterious effects as those observed after a single binge episode. In adolescent mice, multiple binge ethanol exposure substantially reduced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and impaired short-term memory in the novel object and passive avoidance tests. Taken together, our results indicate that alcohol causes deleterious effects in the adolescent brain which are distinct from those observed in adults. These data contribute to explain the greater sensitivity of the adolescent brain to alcohol toxicity.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Neurochemistry
Show more