|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2006
NYC Public Hospitals Join
National Alcohol Awareness Campaign
New York City, April 4, 2006 – New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) announced today that New York City's public hospitals will be joining thousands of sites across the country on April 6 to offer free, confidential screenings to thousands of people for alcohol use disorders. The national outreach event – National Alcohol Screening Day - was created by the national non-profit organization Screening for Mental Health to help people recognize the early signs of an alcohol problem and learn where to get support and treatment locally. HHC has participated in the event since 2000.
One in every 13 adults suffers from alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Millions more drink in ways that can place themselves or others at risk. And a surprising number of those who don't personally have a drinking problem may be directly affected by someone who does - approximately one-half of U.S. adults report a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
During the one-day outreach event visitors to any of 16 participating HHC hospitals and health treatment locations will have the opportunity to complete a brief, written questionnaire assessing their alcohol use and talk privately with a health professional about their results and next steps. Research indicates that brief interventions – such as talking with a health professional at an alcohol awareness event – can help resolve mild to moderate alcohol problems as well as encourage those with more serious problems to seek treatment.
"This annual outreach program is an important part of HHC's preventive health care strategy,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “Each year, HHC sites provide screening for more people and last year over 5,200 people participated in the event, with more than 1,600 receiving anonymous screenings and referrals.”
Signs that you, a friend, or a loved one may have an alcohol problem:
- Drinking to calm nerves, forget worries, or boost a sad mood
- Guilt about drinking
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut down/stop drinking
- Lying about or hiding drinking habits
- Causing harm to oneself or someone else as a result of drinking
- Needing to drink increasingly greater amounts in order to achieve desired effect
- Feeling irritable, resentful, or unreasonable when not drinking
- Medical, social, family, or financial problems caused by drinking
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is the largest municipal healthcare system in the country. HHC operates a network of 11 hospitals, six diagnostic and treatment centers, four long-term care facilities, more than 80 community clinics and a home health care agency. HHC provides care to all regardless of ability to pay. HHC serves 1.3 million New Yorkers annually, including more than 450,000 who have no health insurance. For more information about HHC, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc.