April is National Alcohol Awareness Month and an opportunity to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and encourage Iowans to make healthy, safe choices.

Alcohol is the most frequently used substance in Iowa. Alcohol use in the past 30 days is higher for Iowans compared to the national rate. From 2008-2019, the rate of alcohol-involved deaths increased by more than 73%.

In the 2018 Iowa Youth Survey, 10% of Iowa youth reported that they had at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. Also, 3% of 6th graders, 7% of 8th graders, and 20% of 11th graders reported having at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days.

The Iowa Department of Public Health encourages Iowans to be aware of excessive drinking to alleviate stress or to cope with isolation or concerns. Keep these tips in mind for alcohol awareness:

  • Know what a standard “drink” is: 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content); 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content); 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor (40% alcohol content).
  • Know the alcohol consumption guidelines for healthy adults: one drink a day for women of all ages and up to two drinks a day for men under age 65.
  • Don’t binge drink. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in a single occasion.
  • How the brain and body are impacted by alcohol depends on the amount and frequency of the use, more information can be found here: https://yourlifeiowa.org/alcohol/about-alcohol

Iowans who think they or a loved one may have a problem with alcohol use, should reach out to Your Life Iowa for free, confidential support: https://yourlifeiowa.org/alcohol.