About CDC’s Alcohol Program
To strengthen the scientific foundation for preventing excessive alcohol consumption.
- Improve public health surveillance on excessive alcohol use, particularly binge and underage drinking, and related health outcomes.
- Increase applied public health research on alcohol-related health impacts and population-based strategies to prevent excessive alcohol consumption.
- Build state public health capacity in alcohol epidemiology.
- Provide national public health leadership for preventing excessive drinking.
Established in 2001, the Alcohol Program is located in CDC’s Division of Population Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Public Health Surveillance
The Alcohol Program uses CDC public health surveillance systems, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), to monitor trends in binge and underage drinking, and to assess related health impacts. With generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Program also developed the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application, which allows users to estimate deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) due to excessive alcohol use.
Alcohol Epidemiology Studies
The Alcohol Program conducts applied public health research to assess the relationship between excessive drinking and other health and social outcomes, including unintended pregnancy, youth risk behaviors (e.g., sexual activity), violence, and alcohol-impaired driving. The Alcohol Program is also working with the CDC’s Community Guide Branch to systematically review the effectiveness of population-based interventions to prevent excessive alcohol consumption and related health outcomes for publication in the Alcohol Section of the Guide to Community Preventive Services.
State Public Health Capacity
The Alcohol Program is funding full-time alcohol epidemiologists in New Mexico and Michigan, and provides technical assistance to other state-based epidemiologists. The work being done by these epidemiologists is drawing attention to excessive drinking as a key health risk behavior, and supporting the implementation of effective policy and environmental strategies to prevent it.
National Leadership and Partnership
The Alcohol Program participates actively on the Interagency Coordinating Committee to Prevent Underage Drinking (ICCPUD), and works with state and local public health and substance abuse agencies to strengthen the science base for preventing excessive alcohol consumption and related health outcomes.