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Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Highlights Available Treatment Resources for Alcohol Use Disorder

04/27/2022

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is highlighting the increased prevalence of alcohol misuse, alcohol use disorder (AUD), and available treatment options during National Alcohol Awareness Month.

“While alcohol is often viewed as a stress reliever or a societal norm, it’s important to realize that excessive alcohol use can cause short-term and long-term health problems and negatively impact existing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression,” said Secretary Jen Smith. “Alcohol use disorder is just like any other substance use disorder in that help is available and with the right treatment and supports, recovery is not just possible, it is probable.”

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), an estimated 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third-leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The NIAA also reports that less than 4% of people with AUD were prescribed a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat their disorder. Additionally, DDAP data shows that treatment admissions for alcohol as the primary substance accounted for almost 33% of all treatment admissions across Pennsylvania last year.

“The increase in alcohol use, particularly among women, is a cause for concern. I want to remind women that no amount of alcohol is safe if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. I urge you to call our Get Help Now Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP or talk to your healthcare provider about available resources to keep you and your baby safe and healthy,” said Smith.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth. FASDs are preventable if a baby is not exposed to alcohol before birth. Screening for alcohol use combined with brief counseling by primary care providers, integration of mental health services, improved access to care, and community-based interventions can support reduced alcohol use during pregnancy and the risk for poor pregnancy and birth outcomes.

Substance Use Disorder Resources

Get Help Now Hotline

DDAP’s Get Help Now hotline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), is a trusted resource for youth and/or their loved ones if substance use disorder treatment or resources are needed. The hotline is confidential, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed by trained professionals who will connect callers to resources in their community. Callers can also be connected with funding if they need help paying for treatment.

Single County Authorities

County drug and alcohol offices, known as Single County Authorities (SCA) can help with treatment funding, assess the need for treatment or other services, and make referrals to match treatment and/or service needs for individuals with AUD and other substance use disorders. A full listing of SCA contact information can be found on the DDAP website.

Just Five

DDAP’s Just Five website is a self-paced program to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and provide education about substance use disorders, including AUD, prevention and treatment. The six short learning modules each take "just five" minutes to complete. The program is also available in English and Spanish and accessible for individuals with visual and/or hearing impairments.


MEDIA CONTACT: Stephany Dugan - ra-dapressoffice@pa.gov

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