April 2022— In a recent press release recognizing April as Alcohol Awareness Month, the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) highlighted the increased prevalence of alcohol misuse and available treatment options for alcohol use disorder.
The release cites several troubling statistics. An estimated 95,000 die each year from alcohol-related causes, making it the third-leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA). In Pennsylvania, almost 33% of all treatment admissions across the state were for people seeking help for alcohol as a primary substance.
“While alcohol is often viewed as a stress reliever or a societal norm, it’s important to realize that excessive alcohol use can cause short-term and long-term health problems and negatively impact existing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “Alcohol use disorder is just like any other substance use disorder in that help is available and with the right treatment and supports, recovery is not just possible, it is probable.”
DDAP’s Get Help Now hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), is a trusted resource for youth and/or their loved ones if substance use disorder treatment or resources are needed. The hotline is confidential, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed by trained professionals who will connect callers to resources in their community. Callers can also be connected with funding if they need help paying for treatment.
Single County Authorities: County drug and alcohol offices, known as Single County Authorities (SCA) can help with treatment funding, assess the need for treatment or other services, and make referrals to match treatment and/or service needs for individuals with AUD and other substance use disorders. The Council on Chemical Abuse is the SCA for Berks County. Click here for our contact information.
Just Five: DDAP’s Just Five website is a self-paced program to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and provide education about substance use disorders, including AUD, prevention and treatment. The six short learning modules each take “just five” minutes to complete. The program is also available in English and Spanish and accessible for individuals with visual and/or hearing impairments.