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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Alcohol Metabolism
Drinking heavily puts people at risk for many adverse health consequences, including alcohol use disorder, liver damage, and various cancers. But some people appear to be at greater risk than others for developing these problems. Why do some people drink more than others? And why do some people who drink develop problems, whereas others do not? Research shows that alcohol...
Women and Alcohol
Research shows that alcohol use and misuse among women are increasing. While alcohol misuse by anyone presents serious public health concerns, women who drink have a higher risk of certain alcohol-related problems compared to men.
El Alcohol y Su Embarazo (Alcohol and Your Pregnancy)
NIH Publication No.
21-AA-4102S
Todo lo que usted coma y beba mientras esté embarazada afecta a su bebé. Si usted bebe alcohol, esto puede dañar el crecimiento de su bebé. Su bebé puede desarollar problemas emocionales y físicos que pueden durar por el resto de su vida. Los niños que nacen con problemas muy serios causados por el alcohol tienen síndrome fetal alcohólico.
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Overview of Alcohol Consumption

People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax. Alcohol often has a strong effect on people – and throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power. Why does alcohol cause us to act and feel differently? How much is too much? Why do some people develop alcohol use disorder while others do not? NIAAA is researching these and other...

Alcohol and COVID-19

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, and alcohol has the potential to further complicate the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple ways. Below are links to important resources for the public, clinicians, and researchers...

A Wearable Alcohol Biosensor
Kathy Jung, Division of Metabolism and Health Effects Purpose The purpose of this announcement is to renew the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s initiative on the development of a wearable alcohol biosensor. Currently, assessment of alcohol consumption relies primarily on inherently subjective self-report through surveys ranging from AUDIT, AUDIT -C, to Timeline Follow Back and other more extensive...
Alcohol and Your Pregnancy
NIH Publication No.
21-AA-4101
Everything you eat and drink while you are pregnant affects your baby. If you drink alcohol, it can hurt your baby’s growth. Your baby may have physical and behavioral problems that can last for the rest of his or her life. Children born with the most serious problems caused by alcohol have fetal alcohol syndrome.
Download this publication
Alcohol and COVID-19
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, and alcohol has the potential to further complicate the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple ways. Below are links to important resources for the public, clinicians, and researchers...
HIV Prevention and Alcohol
Kendall Bryant, Ph.D., Office of the Director, NIAAA Purpose This NIAAA-led NOFO calls for research proposals supported by the research grant mechanisms R01 and associated announcement R34 for intervention development. The NOFO seeks to expand the HIV/AIDS prevention toolkit among alcohol impacted populations with a range of patterns of episodic and long-term use and associated behavioral and biological risks for...
The Cycle of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder associated with compulsive alcohol drinking, the loss of control over intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state when alcohol is no longer available. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. It is a...
Alcohol and the Brain: An Overview
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works. Alcohol makes it harder for the brain areas controlling balance, memory, speech, and judgment to do their jobs, resulting in a higher likelihood of injuries and other negative outcomes. Long-term heavy drinking causes alterations in the neurons, such as reductions in their size...
Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain
As adolescents mature, they undergo complex developmental changes, especially in their brains. The widespread changes in the organization and functioning of the brain—which continue into a person’s mid-20s—bring about the cognitive, emotional, and social skills necessary for adolescents to survive and thrive. The nature of these rapid changes may also increase the adolescent brain’s vulnerability to alcohol exposure. Patterns of...
Core Resource on Alcohol
Helping Your Patients with Alcohol-Related Problems. Alcohol contributes to more than 200 health conditions and about 99,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Yet alcohol-related risks often go unaddressed in healthcare settings.
Alcohol and the Human Body
Of the 98,457 liver disease deaths among people ages 12 and older in 2022, 46.0% involved alcohol. Among males, 60,412 liver disease deaths occurred, with 48.6% involving alcohol. Among females, 38,063 liver disease deaths occurred, with 41.8% involving alcohol. 1 Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2019, 50.3% were alcohol related. The percentage of alcohol-associated cirrhosis deaths was highest (at 80.9%)...
Alcohol's Effects on the Body

Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health. Here’s how alcohol can affect your body: Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and...

Alcohol Facts and Statistics
Learn up-to-date facts and statistics on alcohol consumption and its impact in the United States and globally. Explore topics related to alcohol misuse and treatment, underage drinking, the effects of alcohol on the human body, and more.

Announcement

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Launches Video Series
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recently launched a new NIAAA video series called “ Short Takes with NIAAA .” This series consists of brief 60-second videos that explain, in an easy-to-understand way, the meanings of commonly used – but often misunderstood – alcohol terms. The number of topics covered in the series will continue to grow and...
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