CHA News Article

Alcohol-Related Emergency Department Visits Increase by Nearly 50 Percent
New tool helps locate accredited alcohol treatment programs

A new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) finds that the rate of alcohol-related visits to U.S. emergency departments increased by nearly 50 percent between 2006 and 2014, especially among females and drinkers who are middle-aged or older. The research team assessed trends in emergency visits involving acute and chronic alcohol consumption among individuals 12 and older. The study classified visits by standard diagnostic codes for either alcohol misuse over a short period of time or conditions related to long-term drinking. The 47 percent increase in alcohol-related emergency department visits translates to an average annual increase of 210,000 visits, far outpacing other causes during the years studied. Data show that total annual costs of alcohol-related visits increased from $4.1 billion to $15.3 billion during this time.

The NIAAA also has released a tool to help locate local alcohol treatment programs, based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national database of outpatient, residential and inpatient treatment programs. To learn more about the programs and search the database by zip code, visit the NIAAA website.