This article was first published in NIAAA Spectrum Volume 14, Issue 2.
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than half of Americans ages 18 and older reported drinking alcohol in the past month, and about a quarter of this same group reported past-month binge drinking. To help adults who drink alcohol to better understand their relationship with alcohol, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently published a major update and redesign of its popular booklet and website, Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health.
“Rethinking Drinking was first issued in 2009 and has been NIAAA’s most popular resource. This updated edition of Rethinking Drinking continues to provide evidence-based information about alcohol misuse and offers a modern new look,” says NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D. “We hope that this resource continues to empower people to be mindful of—and to take charge of—their drinking patterns.”
- What counts as a "standard drink" (also known as an alcoholic drink-equivalent) and how many drinks are in common containers
- Recommendations about drinking in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Short- and long-term consequences of alcohol misuse
- Signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder
- Tips on how to assess your drinking pattern
- Strategies and tools for cutting down or quitting drinking
- Options and resources for peer, professional, and social support for cutting back on or quitting drinking
For more information, readers can visit NIAAA’s Rethinking Drinking website. In addition to the above topics, the website has special features such as:
- Calculators that estimate the number of “standard drinks” in an alcohol-containing beverage, calorie content of drinks, alcohol spending, and blood alcohol concentration
- Activities on handling urges to drink and building skills in refusing drinks
- Practical tips on overcoming a drinking episode when the goal is to quit
While Rethinking Drinking is a great tool for anyone to use to examine their relationship with alcohol, NIAAA offers additional resources specifically for people who would like to learn more about options for alcohol treatment for themselves or loved ones, including the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® website and the Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help booklet .
SAMHSA. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Table 2.17B—Alcohol Use in Lifetime among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group and Demographic Characteristics: Percentages, 2018 and 2019. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2019-nsduh-detailed-tables. Accessed March 9, 2022.