NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A new report finds that at least 354 people died from alcohol poisoning on Long Island in the past five years.

Newsday analyzed records from the Nassau and Suffolk county medical examiners.

The deaths are part of what clinicians call a hidden epidemic of binge-drinking fatalities.

Officials say binge drinking is the leading cause of alcohol poisoning. That’s defined as consuming four or more drinks for women, and five or more drinks for men, on a single occasion.

Alcohol poisoning can shut down parts of the brain that control breathing, heart rate and body temperature.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of six people died daily from alcohol poisoning nationwide from 2010 to 2012.

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