As Part of Alcohol Awareness Month, Health Department Launches Media Campaign About Safer Drinking Strategies

Nearly one in five New Yorkers reported binge drinking in 2017

four people pose for selfie

April 22, 2019 — As part of Alcohol Awareness Month, the Health Department today launched a new media campaign featuring an animated video on how to keep safe when drinking alcohol. The animation depicts a group of friends consuming alcohol safely and having a fun night out. It is available on YouTube and will run as advertisements on various social media platforms. The video includes several tips for safer drinking: space alcoholic beverages out over time; drink water in between alcoholic beverages; eat food when drinking alcoholic beverages; and take it slow and drink with moderation. In 2016, there were over 110,000 alcohol-related emergency department visits in New York City. In the same year, nearly 2,000 New Yorkers died from alcohol-attributable causes, including liver disease, drunk driving fatalities, and alcohol-related cancers, such as liver and esophageal cancers. In 2017, nearly one in five New Yorkers reported binge drinking on at least one occasion in the past month. Women are advised to limit themselves to no more than three drinks per occasion, and men should not have more than four drinks per occasion. Exceeding these limits is considered binge drinking. The videos can be viewed in English and Spanish.

“We want New Yorkers to protect their friends, family, and themselves from risky alcohol use,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Simple steps like counting drinks, staying hydrated, and spacing and pacing alcohol consumption can help reduce risk while enjoying a fun night out.”

To help reduce harmful alcohol use, the Health Department educates health care professionals about the importance of screening and counseling patients about their alcohol use, which is one of the most effective prevention interventions. The Health Department has published lower-risk drinking guidelines and data on alcohol-related injuries to keep New Yorkers informed and safe.

New Yorkers should ask their healthcare provider if any of the medications they take interact with alcohol. The Health Department recommends avoiding alcohol for people who take opioid analgesics (such as Oxycodone or Codeine) or benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin), as mixing alcohol with these medications increases the risk of overdose.

New Yorkers can find more information about alcohol and their health at Individuals seeking support or treatment for alcohol use issues for themselves or their loved ones can contact NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting “WELL” to 65173, or going to Free, confidential support is available at any hour of the day in over 200 languages.



MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue / Stephanie Buhle: (347) 396-4177