Study: The West is the Worst for Alcohol-Related Deaths

Go West and drink yourself to death, young man.

According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico led the nation with 51.2 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 residents—far outpacing second-place Alaska (41.1) and way ahead of the national average of 27.9 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 residents.

New Jersey reported the fewest liquor-related deaths at 19.1 per 100,000 residents. Of all the western states, only North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Utah had alcohol-related death rates at or below the national average.

The study, which covered 2006-2010, also showed that New Mexico also leads the nation with alcohol-related deaths among working-age adults (20-64) at 16.4 percent. Montana was second at 15.9 percent, while the national average of deaths by alcohol among working-age adults is roughly 10 percent.

Nationally, men accounted for 71 percent of all alcohol-related deaths. The report cites alcohol poisoning, chronic disease, drunk driving and violence as some of the causes of death.

Montana-based alcohol prevention specialist Barbra Bessette told KAJ-18 News in Kalispell that the high alcohol death rates out west might be due to boredom.

"We have kind of this mentality that there's nothing else to do here but drink...the western frontier states, it's kind of the same reason we have a high rate of tobacco use, like chewers, we're a lot of rural so people get together and congregate at the bars."

Click here to read the full report from the CDC (Warning: PDF)

Click here to follow Jason M. Vaughn on Twitter.