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Logo: Rethinking Drinking - Alcohol and your health

About Rethinking Drinking

The Rethinking Drinking Web site and booklet have been produced by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIAAA is the lead U.S. agency supporting research on the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems. The content of Rethinking Drinking draws largely from the results of major NIAAA population studies and clinical trials.

The main target audience for Rethinking Drinking is the 3 in 10 U.S. adults who drink more than the low-risk limits. Of these drinkers, about 1 in 4 already has alcoholism or alcohol abuse, and the rest are at greater risk for these and other health problems.

Many of these drinkers may be unaware that their drinking habits are putting them at risk for alcohol-related problems. Some may already have symptoms of an alcohol use disorder without recognizing them. Others may know that their drinking is causing problems, but don't know where to turn for help in cutting back or quitting. Rethinking Drinking provides evidence-based information for all of these people, along with support for making a change. 

Rethinking Drinking has been developed for the public in conjunction with materials for health care practitioners. The NIAAA Clinician's Guide, Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much, is used for training in medical and nursing schools, and has been distributed to thousands of doctors, nurses, and mental health practitioners.

NIAAA sponsors research in grantee institutions throughout the United States and conducts studies in its own laboratories. Scientists explore the full range of alcohol's effects, starting at the sub-cellular level and expanding through organ systems, individuals across the life span, communities, and the population at large. Visit the news release section of the NIAAA Web site for a sampling of NIAAA-supported research advances.