Alcohol often has a strong effect on people and while an adult (age 21 and older) drinking alcohol is itself not necessarily a problem – drinking too much on a single occasion or over time can cause a range of consequences, and increase a person’s risk for a variety of problems.

  • Excessive drinking both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, is associated with numerous health problems, including— Chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis (damage to liver cells); pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (the voice box), and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders.
  • Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries.
  • Violence, such as child maltreatment, homicide, and suicide.
  • Harm to a developing fetus if a woman drinks while pregnant, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • Did You Know...
    Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States.
  • One in every 12 adults (17.6 million people) suffers from alcohol abuse or dependence; and more than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
  • More than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol. Families with alcohol and drug problems usually have high levels of stress and confusion. High stress family environments are a risk factor for early and dangerous substance use, as well as mental and physical health problems.
  • More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
  • 100,000 persons die each year from alcohol-related causes: drinking and driving crashes, other accidents, falls, fires, alcohol-related homicides and suicides.

adult alcoholThe CAGE questionnaire is a widely used method of screening for alcoholism. Two (2) "YES" responses indicate that the possibility of alcoholism and should be investigated further.
The questionnaire asks the following questions:

  1. Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
  4. Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

It has been demonstrated that completing the questionnaire when used as part of a general health history is most effective. Responses on the CAGE are scored 0 or 1, with a higher score an indication of alcohol problems. A total score of 2 or greater is considered clinically significant.

Alcoholism is treatable and people who are addicted to alcohol can and do recover.

If You Need Help: NJ Addiction Services Hotline: Call 1-844-276-2777
24 hours a day – 7 days a week

Local Treatment Agencies
· Cape Counseling: (609) 465-4100 · Cape Assist: (609) 522-5960
· Families Matter, LLC: (609) 886-8666 · Nancy Crafts Counseling: (609) 465-7788
· Addiction Recovery Systems: (609) 463-0500

Other Resources
· Parent to Parent Support: (856) 983-3328 · Alcoholics Anonymous: (609) 641-8855
· Al-Anon: (800) 344-2666 - CURE: (609) 465-6685

Support & assistance may be available through your physician and through a faith based community.

Webpage Information sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services; National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD); US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)