Alcohol Awareness Month

Every April, COCA recognizes Alcohol Awareness Month by raising awareness about risks related to alcohol use and alcohol use disorder. Currently, more than 14 million adults ages 18 and older have alcohol use disorder (AUD), and 1 in 10 children live in a home with a parent who has a drinking problem (NIAAA). Researchers estimate that each year there are more than 178,000 alcohol-related deaths, making alcohol a leading preventable cause of death in the United States. In addition, more than 200 disease and injury-related conditions are associated with alcohol misuse (NIAAA).

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

Have you or a loved one

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  • Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?

These are a few symptoms that could indicate an alcohol use disorder. Click here for a more complete list.

How much alcohol is in a standard drink?

Knowing how much alcohol is in a standard drink can help you make better decisions about alcohol use. The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women when alcohol is consumed. (NIAAA)

A standard drink is defined as any beverage containing 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol (also known as an alcoholic drink equivalent), which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of beer with about 5% alcohol content
  • 5 ounces of wine with about 12% alcohol content
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with about 40% alcohol content

Know how much alcohol you are consuming, as well as the signs of alcohol poisoning. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, take immediate action. Call 911, check their pulse, and perform CPR (if trained). Know that any person with alcohol poisoning cannot ‘sleep’ it off, as blood alcohol content (BAC) rises even after a person stops drinking (PA Liquor Control Board).

More facts and information

Getting Help for Alcohol Problems

More information on alcohol misuse prevention and treatment

Get strategies for quitting or cutting back

Learn about the Berks County HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers

Get the facts on Alcohol and Pregnancy

Underage Drinking

Long-term prevention of underage drinking starts with education. Below are some online resources related to underage drinking.

Get the facts about underage drinking

Talking to kids about alcohol

Get help for teen drinking

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