Director's Blog Dr. Koob Banner

March 2022

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Safely

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Because drinking alcohol is a large part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities for many people, this is a good time to be mindful of how alcohol can impact your celebrations and your health. Read more>>

December 2021

Rethinking Your Holiday Drinking

The holidays are a time for celebration and alcohol is often present at festive gatherings. Despite all good plans, people may consume alcohol more than they intended. Read more>>

November 2021

Embracing Community and Culture to Prevent Underage Drinking

Supporting research to better understand and address alcohol-related health disparities and improve the health of underserved populations is one of the highest priorities of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Read more>>

July 2021

Want to Reduce Stigma? Choose Your Words Wisely

We can help alleviate the stigma associated with alcohol-related conditions by consistently using non-pejorative, non-stigmatizing, person-first language to describe these concerns and the people who are affected by them. Keep in mind that some words that are commonly used in society, such as “alcoholic” and “alcohol abuse,” can be stigmatizing. Read more>>

July 2021

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Invites Input on 2022-2026 Strategic Plan Outline

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is currently developing a FY2022-2026 Strategic Plan to highlight priorities and guide activities for advancing the Institute’s mission over the next five years.  Read more>>

April 2021

Mourning the Loss of a Great Addiction Pioneer

We are profoundly saddened at the passing of Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek last week, at age 84. Read more>>

March 2021

Statement on Racial Equity and Inclusion in Biomedical Research - and the NIH UNITE Program

Issues of racial equity and inclusion weigh heavily on me as I contemplate the future of alcohol research. While NIAAA has been and is committed to addressing issues of racial equity and inclusion at all levels, these concerns, even though sincere and long-standing, ring hollow if they are not supported by action – bold, proactive, and committed action to ending racial inequities across the biomedical research enterprise. And let us be clear that our circumstances require transformative changes in our biomedical research ecosystem.  Read more>>

February 2021

two people sitting by fire with hot chocolate

Taking a Break from Alcohol Can be Good for Your Health

It’s always a good idea to periodically examine your relationship with alcohol. A popular way to do this is to participate in a sober month like Dry January or Sober October, which are health and wellness trends that emphasizes taking a break from alcohol for an entire month. Read more>>

October 2020

NIAAA at 50 image collage

NIAAA celebrates 50 years of advancing alcohol research

This December marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). As I look back over the past five decades, I am proud of our tremendous accomplishments and the progress we have made in alcohol research. Read more>>

August 2020

Students return to college wearing masks

Combatting alcohol misuse among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic

In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, it is especially important this fall for college students to take the necessary measures to protect their health and well-being, particularly if schools have resumed in-person or hybrid classes. Especially now, students and college administrators need to understand the risks associated with alcohol use. Read more>>

June 2020

NIAAA Director's Statement on Inequities in the Research Community and in America

I feel compelled to address what we’ve seen and heard in the news regarding racism, police brutality, and injustice against African Americans in our country. I am outraged, horrified, and disillusioned—and I suspect most of you are, too. The effects are pervasive and touch all aspects of society. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a bright light on the adverse impact of health inequities on African-American communities. Read more>>

April 2020

woman typing on laptop

Alcohol poses different challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every family across the country and will likely have a long-lasting impact on public health and well-being. Alcohol misuse is already a public health concern in the United States, with dramatic increases in emergency department visits and alcohol-related deaths observed in recent years. Alcohol has the potential to further complicate the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple ways. Read more>>

March 2020

group of friends sitting in living room

Rethinking Our Drinking Habits

Events such as Dry January and Sober October, as well as the broader sober curious movement, are rapidly gaining popularity, especially among Millennials. Read more>>

December 2019

Close up image of snowflake

It’s holiday party season – here’s what you need to know about the science of hangovers

The holiday season is here, bringing with it many opportunities for parties, celebrations, and for some – overindulging. So, it’s a good time to understand a little more about the possible consequences of these festivities, particularly the dreaded hangover.  Read more>>

September 2019

Photo of red leaves on tree

Why September is Especially Important to Alcohol Research​

September is a significant month for the alcohol field for two reasons: it’s the month dedicated to raising awareness about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and to celebrating recovery from alcohol and other substance use disorders. Read more>>

June 2019


Alcohol + Summer Equal Potentially Dangerous Consequences

Summer is a wonderful time of year. The weather is great and school is out, so people take vacations and weekend road trips to the beach or lake, and spend time outdoors socializing with family and friends. However, along with summer comes more complications from drinking. Read more>>


April 2019

A man working on a laptop

Take Time to Reflect on the Role Alcohol Plays in Your Life

Spring is a great time to think about your drinking patterns and how alcohol may affect your life. Read more>>


February 2019

A group of people in the park

Be mindful of your drinking throughout the year

As we move from January to February, some people’s motivation to keep their New Year’s resolutions starts to wane. But it’s a good idea to be mindful of how alcohol can adversely affect our health all year long.  Read more>>


January 2019

Banner: Don't get sacked, binge drink during the big game

Call the right play during the Big Game

The football playoffs are here and the Big Game is one of the biggest sporting events in the United States. This is the day that many people will get together with family and friends to root for their team.  Read more>>


December 2018

Photo of bottles and glasses of drinks on a table

Tis the season to be mindful of your drinking

The holidays are here! And since drinking alcohol is a part of holiday festivities for many people, it is a good time to be mindful of how it can affect our celebrations and our health.  Read more>>


September 2018

Image of a pregnant woman with her hand over her abdomen

Raising Awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, also known as FASD, is a term that refers to the broad range of lifelong birth defects and neurodevelopmental abnormalities that occur as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure.  Read more>>


June 2018

View of a beach boardwalk and summer sky    

Alcohol and Summer - Think Before You Drink

For some people, summer activities involve drinking alcoholic beverages, so play it safe during the summer and be mindful of your alcohol consumption.  Read more>>


April 2018

Cover of the booklet Rethinking Drinking

Learn About Alcohol Use Disorder and Ways to Get Help 

Alcohol Awareness Month is a good time to reflect on drinking patterns and the role that alcohol plays in our lives. Read more>>


October 2017

Logo for NIAAA Treatment Navigator

NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator: Pointing the Way to Quality Care

In any given year, more than 15 million adults in the US meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder, but less than 10% of them receive treatment... What accounts for this alcohol “treatment gap?”  Read more>>