A new study from the Center for Disease Control ranks New Jersey second-to-last for alcohol-related deaths. A little less than 8 percent of Jersey deaths can be traced to alcohol use. That's 1,206 out of 15,543.
The study, which looked at "years of potential life lost," tallied the alcohol related deaths of working age residents (between the ages of 20 and 64). The United States as a whole can trace about 10 percent of deaths to excessive alcohol use. New Mexico tops the chart at 16 percent.
New Jersey may rank lower due to the Alcohol Treatment Rehabilitation Act, which stays criminal cases if the defendant agrees to enter a rehabilitation program.
Another factor could be the high cost of living: the CDC suggests that "Increasing alcohol prices by raising alcohol taxes" would result in less binge drinking and therefore fewer deaths.
Alcohol-related deaths include not only cirrhosis of the liver and drunk-driving accidents, but includes those in which alcohol is less closely linked, such as high blood pressure and breast cancer. The study also included alcohol-driven homicides.
"Excessive alcohol use is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States," the study reads. The Center for Disease Control states that 1 in 10 working age people, resulting in an average loss of 20 years of life.