Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

It's no surprise that alcohol causes a variety of problems or that many people struggle with addiction to alcohol-however what may surprise you is the economic burden of alcoholism.  The 2008 National Survey for Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that $186 billion was spent on alcohol related issues during that year alone.  Some of these included; specialty alcohol services related to treatment, medical consequences, lost earnings and criminal justice costs.

While the financial costs associated with alcohol are staggering so are the social implications.  Alcoholics and their friends and families are faced with the emotional issues and broken relationships that alcohol addiction can leave behind.  Alcohol use is associated with mental and physical abuse.  When children grow up with alcoholics in the family they are faced with devastating consequences, some of which take many years to overcome.

The NSDUH survey also revealed that:

  • 129 million Americans 12 and over consider themselves current drinkers
  • 23.3% of those 12 and over participated in binge drinking (consumption of 5 or more drinks in one setting) in the 30 days prior to the survey
  • More than 17 million people consider themselves heavy drinkers

Alcohol Awareness Month seeks to educate the public about the health risks linked to alcohol, ways to organize and promote health awareness events and to deliver new ideas and resources on this topic. 

For more information and links to free resources please visit:  http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/seasonal/aprilalcohol

By Courtney Stewart,   4/9/2010