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County health report reveals continued alcohol abuse problem

Posted at 5:52 AM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 08:54:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Pima County Health Department released the 2018 Pima County Health Needs Assessment last month.

The report is released every three years with the intent of pinpointing the county's biggest health needs.

In the 2018 report alcohol abuse was among the top priorities Pima County is facing.

The report identifies alcohol as the "2nd cause of morbidity in Pima County" with "14 percent of adults reporting binge or heavy drinking".

"So, alcoholism being number two it's contributing to a lot of things, it's contributing to heart diseases and those other things that are the leading causes of mortality in our country and chronic diseases," said Marcy Flanagan, with the Pima County Health Department.

However, the alcohol abuse problem in the county isn't something new.

The issue was highlighted in previous health assessment reports released by the county health department.

Both the 2015 health assessment and 2012 health assessment reports make a mention of alcohol abuse throughout the community.

Janet H., a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, told KGUN9 she started drinking in college and continued for years.

"I went to college and I started drinking socially with people and pretty quickly it was obvious that alcohol and I were in love with each other and it was kind of messing everything up," Janet said.

The problem persisted for years, until she decided to get sober. During her time as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous she said she's seen her fair share of people suffering from different diseases.

"The other things that I see of course diabetes and heart disease and I'm not an expert but I have known people, especially with diabetes," said Janet.