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State Dept. of Health Recognizes Alcohol Awareness Month – Raises Awareness on Excessive Alcohol Use and Impacts on Health


The New York State Department of Health is recognizing April as Alcohol Awareness month. The month will raise awareness to excessive alcohol use and alcohol’s impact towards a person’s health.

“Binge drinking and heavy drinking are extremely harmful to the body and can cause a devastating impact on individuals and their loved ones,” State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “Binge and heavy drinking lead to thousands of premature deaths in New York every year. The Department remains committed to providing resources and support to people who struggle with alcohol use and raising awareness about the dangers of alcohol consumption.”

Both binge drinking and heavy drinking are forms of excessive alcohol usage. The CDC has defined binge drinking as consuming 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men in a single occasion.

Findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) report within the Health Department found during their annual survey of adults, nearly 1 in 5 reported excessive alcohol use in either binge or heavy drinking. It also found about 16.6% of New Yorkers reported binge drinking and 6.1% reporting heavy drinking. Binge drinking has increased from 14.9% in 2021 to 16.6% in 2022, the Health Department reports.

“The prevalence of binge drinking was significantly higher in adults who reported frequent mental distress, and among adults who currently smoke cigarettes.” Stated the Health Department.

In New York, 8,000 die annually from excessive alcohol usage. It is considered a leading cause of preventable and premature deaths in the country. In total, over 170,000 die each year in the country.

The New York State Department of Health says they are dedicated to reducing the risk of alcohol-related deaths and injuries. In 2021, the New York State Surveillance and Epidemiology Program was established through a cooperative agreement with the CDC. The goal is to conduct a public health surveillance on excessive alcohol use and its harm within the state.

The goal of the Alcohol Surveillance and Epidemiology Program is to reduce excessive alcohol use and its related harms through:

  • Monitoring and sharing data on excessive alcohol use and its related harms to inform prevention efforts.
  • Developing partnerships with state and local entities to collaborate on prevention efforts.
  • Increasing awareness about the public health impact of excessive alcohol use among partners and the public.
  • Building support for population-based policy and environmental changes to reduce excessive alcohol use.

More information on excessive alcohol use and prevention may be found HERE.

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