Employee Well-Being Should Be A Priority

Employee Well-Being Should Be A Priority

employee1No matter how creative you are or how acute you are in business, if your company is large, you need good employees. Good employees are a company’s biggest asset, so it only follows that focusing on employee well-being is important. Whether its mental health, financial health or physical health, when an employee is fit in all areas, they’re more focused and productive at work. It’s one reason that workplaces have done more to help prevent chronic disease and promote a healthier lifestyle than even the medical profession. While preventing disease isn’t their ultimate goal, having a healthy workforce helps them achieve their goal of providing products and services.

Benefit programs are offered to help recruit the most impressive candidates for the job.

Companies started offering benefits, such as healthcare, retirement plans and sick leave, to attract the most qualified candidates for a position. They help to retain good employees, too. Wellness programs work the same way, but with added benefits. They help change unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and diet. It doesn’t take much to realize that once you change an unhealthy behavior, you’ll lower the risk for chronic disease and that lowers healthcare costs. Helping an employee make one small behavior change, such as eating healthier, can lower the potential for a serious, yet manageable disease like diabetes, that can send health care costs rising.

Wellness programs may focus on healthcare, but they also reap many mental health benefits.

Whether it’s eating healthier or exercising, it’s good for the body. It turns out that it’s also good for the brain. Studies show that exercising can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also helps boost cognitive thinking, so employees function better when they’re on the job. Eating healthier can help prevent those blood sugar spikes that end up dropping as rapidly as they rise. There’s also a food-mood connection with food that provides nutrients such as vitamin D, B vitamins, magnesium, folic acid, tryptophan and Omega3 fatty acids can also help with mental health issues and a healthier brain.

Lowering healthcare costs is a big reason many employers choose wellness programs.

It’s not hard to understand how wellness programs for employees can reduce healthcare costs. If you change just a few behaviors, it can lead to reducing risks of serious conditions, such as diabetes. When you consider that the cost for treating just one condition, such as high blood pressure, incur $47.5 billion each year in direct medical expense. That’s not including the $3.5 billion in lost productivity. When you include into it, other costs that are related for health care services, it totals approximately $131 billion each year. A healthy diet and regular exercise can lower blood pressure. Wellness programs that encourage a healthier lifestyle, can significantly reduce health care costs.

  • According to a review of 100 different papers, the average return on investment for a wellness program was 3.27.
  • Absenteeism is lowered when companies focus on wellness programs. Twenty-two different studies focused on that aspect and found that it saved the company $2.73 for every dollar spent.
  • When employees feel good and feel they’re important, they’re more productive. A wellness program provides both.
  • A good wellness program provides the tools to help people make behavior changes. They make it simpler, provide skills and support to motivate people to change their lifestyle and live healthier.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

How Is Alcohol Abused?

How Is Alcohol Abused?

In most parts of the world, alcohol is legal for adults to both purchase and consume. As a result, beverages that contain alcohol are available almost everywhere, and clearly, many adults partake. Since use is so common, it might seem hard to determine who is drinking alcohol in an appropriate manner and who is drinking in a manner that could lead to alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Experts suggest there are key signs to look for.

Binge Drinking Alcohol

Binge drinking is one such sign of alcohlism. This type of drinking, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involves consuming alcohol with the intention of getting drunk. For men, that means drinking five or more drinks in about two hours; for women, that involves consuming four or more drinks within two hours.

Excessive Alcohol Use

This type of alcohol abuse pattern is easy to spot. These are people who sit down and attempt to down a great deal of alcohol at the same time. There’s intent to this drinking that is hard to hide. But this isn’t the only type of alcohol abuse out there. People may also abuse alcohol if they:

  • Take in alcoholic beverages and drive
  • Drink alcohol throughout the day
  • Consume alcohol in order to feel a buzz, without drinking in a binging manner
  • Feel the need to drink every single day
  • Drink a large amount of alcohol in social situations

These are all very different drinking patterns, but they have one thing in common. People who drink like this have lost some modicum of control over their consumption. The beverages drive their behaviors. It can seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one to understand, as people who don’t amend troublesome drinking behaviors can become people who have symptoms of alcoholism.

Difficult drinking patterns can shift electrical activities within the brain, and when that happens, people might have little to no control over how they drink or when they drink.



How Coronavirus Is Affecting the Economy: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been following the news this year, you’ve seen and heard one word being repeated over and over again: coronavirus.

Just saying it out loud is enough to make you want to grab a mask, wash your hands, and become a hermit. But you know what’s even more dangerous than a virus? Fear. That will creep in, eat away at you, and cause more destruction than the threat of any illness ever could.

So stop reading headline after headline, take a breath, and don’t panic. We’ll walk you through (calmly) what something like this means for you and your money.

How a Global Epidemic Impacts the Economy

If you don’t remember every single detail of your high school economics class, you’re probably wondering how the heck a virus can mess with the stock market and global economy. Hang on and we’ll break it down for you:

Different countries across the globe depend on one another for things like goods and products—such as clothing, car parts and cell phones. Buying items and manufacturing parts from these countries boosts the global economy.

That said, quarantining people to prevent the virus from spreading can slow economic growth. This happens when things like travel bans, trade being cut off, and production plants shutting down get in the way of countries being able to produce products that the rest of the world relies on. This makes the use of goods and services come to a standstill too. All of that rolled together with the fear being fed to us has the potential to cause Wall Street, the stock market—and people—to freak out.

In order to give the economy a jolt, the Federal Reserve even lowered interest rates by half a percentage point.1 Doing this, they hope, will encourage consumers to keep spending and keep the economy healthy. And if you’re in the market for refinancing your home from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year—that’s very good news for you. You could lock in a crazy low interest rate now, which would save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

The truth is—yes, watching a virus like this spread makes us all super uneasy. And our hearts go out to all those who have been devastated by the coronavirus. But don’t let your concern turn into anxiety and panic. We’ll all get through this.

How to Stay Calm if You’re Investing

It’s natural for your heart to race when you see fearful headlines scroll across your television and newsfeed. You’re only human. Unsettling news about stocks dropping and a virus spreading can really do a number on your portfolio (and your morale). But here’s something the mainstream media isn’t telling you: Don’t freak out.

Did you get that? It’s important—so important that we’re going to say it again.

Don’t freak out.

Here’s what you need to do to keep your peace of mind through it all:

Remember your goal.

What was the idea behind your investing in the first place? You were probably thinking of the future and how investing now and leaving it alone for many, many years would eventually bring you a hefty return on your investment. And that logic still applies!

If you have investments right now, it’s natural to feel shaky. But don’t make any knee-jerk reactions based on what you see on the news. Remember that when investing, you’re in it for the long haul. So keep your sights there. Don’t get so tripped up by the bumps in the road that you lose focus of the truth: Investing is for the long term, not the short term.

Talk to your financial advisor.

If you still feel unsure, get on the phone and call up your investment pro. Sometimes, just talking things out with the person you’ve trusted with your investments can really help to calm your nerves.

What Does This Mean for Your Money?

If you’re investing, take a big breath, calm down, and remember that a rocky day, week or month won’t impact your investments 20 years from now.

Will the market take a hit? It sure could. But guess what? It will bounce back. It always does. And when it recovers, you stand to make a nice return. But if you pull out when things look bad, it’s a dumb move because you’re out of the game completely. You can’t time the market. Jumping off the roller coaster while it’s going is never a good idea (those are the only people who get hurt, actually). Don’t let your emotions take control of your money. Now is not the time to pull your investments, go into doomsday mode, or cash in your 401(k) for gold coins. Ride the wave here—ride it down and ride it back up again.

And if you aren’t in the place where you can invest yet, our advice to you is simple: Stay the course. Get your own household in order by making sure you have an emergency fund in place. It puts a buffer between you and life and gives you peace of mind despite the chaos going on around you.

If you’re not already working the 7 Baby Steps, it’s time to start paying off debt, sticking to a budget, and cutting back on expenses. Bottom line? Keep moving forward and stay on your path no matter the ups and downs the stock market takes.

Maybe you aren’t investing or haven’t set other financial goals, and now all this talk about the stock market is making you take stock of your own money situation. If you don’t even know where to start, it’s time to take our three-minute assessment and get a free customized plan for your money.

Don’t Let Fear Rule You

Above all, remember not to let fear of the unknown control you. You have the power to decide how you’ll react. Don’t drain your checking account buying an endless supply of water, paper towels, and face masks the U.S. surgeon general has said you don’t need.2 Despite what you see shared on your social feed and what the talking heads keep drilling into you, there is always hope. And guess what? You can rise above any panic-filled sound bite you hear on the news.

The Bible tells us, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34 NKJV).

That means there’s enough things to deal with today. Don’t spend your time worrying about all the “what ifs” and whether or not the sky’s going to fall tomorrow, next month or ever. Focus on the here and now.

People can speculate all they want to, but in reality, none of us can control what the stock market or the world economy does. But the good news is, you can control what happens in the spending and saving habits of your own house. Keep working the plan, leave your investments alone, and wait for this to pass. But while you’re at it, go ahead and wash your hands (properly, for 10 to 20 seconds please)—you can never go wrong with that!



How to Deal with Loneliness During Social Distancing

The calls for “social distancing” are echoing around the world. For lots of people, it’s no longer an option—it’s a government mandate. Communities are banding together to protect the most vulnerable, and people are avoiding public spaces and large gatherings. Restaurants and stores have shut their doors. Many workers have relocated to their homes, while others have been laid off. The demand for other jobs (nursing, delivery drivers, etc.) has gone through the roof, placing significant stress on workers, systems and established routines.

We’re being forced—ready or not—into a fight against an enemy that we can’t see, hear or fully understand. We are throwing punches in the dark. Like annoying, overbearing little league parents, everyone is yelling at us and telling us what to do, armchair quarterbacking every step as if they know how to handle things. But in reality, we’re up against something we’ve never faced before. And worse, it feels like we’re fighting alone.

And when I say “we,” I’m not being cute or trite. I’m experiencing this too. My family has been out of town for the past week as this has unfolded, and I’ve found myself scared, lonely and feeling out of control . . . and I’ve been a crisis responder for years!

Here’s the truth: Sudden fear, confusion and instant disconnection is a toxic recipe for panic, anxiety, misplaced rage and addiction. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or how tough you think you are, the only way to get through the coming days/weeks/months is to remain connected to one another. Loneliness will cripple us physically, unwind us mentally, and make it impossible to be spiritually whole. Loneliness is poison.  

When our brains recognize that we’re disconnected and lonely, it sounds the anxiety alarms. The anxiety alarms can feel like accelerated heart rates, waking up throughout the night, emotional outbursts, and obsessively checking any and all electronic devices in an effort to find connection. When our alarms are ringing at full blast, we make dumb decisions (toilet paper for a respiratory illness, anyone?). But the damage goes beyond being impulsive. Chronic stress actually impairs our immune system.

The only thing that silences the alarms is connection with other people.

Obviously, we’re facing a big challenge. We’re quarantined at home, and the places where we’d normally connect—church, school, gyms, coffee shops—are shut down. But I’ve got some good news for you: Even during a global pandemic, it’s possible to take care of yourself, fight loneliness, and enjoy meaningful connection.

7 Ways to Deal With Loneliness During Social Distancing

Below are the seven things I’m doing right now to quiet the alarms and keep myself sane while being totally alone (my family arrives back home in a few hours, and that will present another set of both joys and challenges . . . I’ll blog on that soon). These are not theories or cheesy steps you’d find on Pinterest. These are the actual things I’m doing to keep myself well, whole and connected during these strange times. I’m sharing them because I believe they can help you during this time too.

Here we go:  

1. Limit social media and news consumption to twice a day. Period.  

From this point forward, I’m only checking the internet in the midmorning and late afternoon. For me, this even includes TV and movies. While it feels like things are changing minute by minute, they aren’t. Protect your heart and mind and just turn off the electronics.

2. Call and have in-person conversations with friends and family.

Over the past few days, I’ve spoken with Todd, Trevor, Craig and Buddy—four of my old college roommates. I’ve talked with some old friends, Melissa and Jeff, and several folks from my work community. I’ve used FaceTime and spoken to family members and mentors. And of course, I’ve called my mom every day. Connecting through voice or FaceTime—not texting—is critical. Texting passes along information—it doesn’t offer connection. Call your loved ones.      

3. Take multiple walks outside every day.

Nature is important for your heart, mind and body. Movement is critical for physical and mental health. Seeing other people (from a safe distance) is healing. I’m going out of my way to greet every person I pass on the street, I’m walking long distances (regardless of the weather), and I’m lifting weights in my home every time I pass by the dumbbells. Get outside and move. 

4. Read both fiction and nonfiction.

Somehow, we’ve developed a perception that reading fiction is a waste of time. This is ridiculous. Picking up good fiction books allows our frontal lobes (the part of our brain that processes information and solves problems) to take a break from trying to fix everything. Reading allows us to enter new worlds, detach, and use our imaginations in ways that television doesn’t.

5. Serve in any way that you can.

Service to others allows us to keep our community strong and grounded. And of course, service will look differently for each of us. It might look like ordering a pizza and tipping the driver an obnoxious amount of money. Or it might be sending money to your barber, even though he’s not cutting your hair this month. If you don’t have the extra cash, service may be handwriting letters to people in your church. It may be checking on your neighbors and making sure they have what they need. Or it may just be grabbing a trash bag and picking up trash on your neighborhood walk. Whatever it is, find ways to serve. Start right now.   

6. Do a quick checkup of your financial and physical needs.

I took a realistic inventory of what my family and I need to take care of our financial needs, both now and over the next few weeks. We’re facing two possibilities: that this gets wrapped up soon, or it gets worse in the coming days. There’s a fine line between wise planning and pathological hoarding. Before you go to the store, make a list of what you need, stick to it, and honor others in your community by only getting what you need. And if you have a working water hose, you don’t need bottled water.

7. Pray and practice mindfulness.

This situation has reminded me in a very real way that I control very few things in my life. I can only control my thoughts and my behaviors. That’s it. Prayer keeps me grounded when everything feels out of control. If you have an established faith or church community, carve out extra time to pray, and even host virtual prayer gatherings to bring people together. You can also practice mindfulness through any number of meditation apps. Or simply put away your devices, sit still, breathe, and focus your thoughts on being present where you are. Also, keeping a gratitude journal has numerous mental health, spiritual and wellness benefits. Do it.    

We must honor the calls to be good citizens and practice social distancing. We must also do everything in our collective power to remain connected to our friends and loved ones, to our physical, spiritual and mental selves, and to our local communities. We must be intentional and kind. And I know that we can do this. If you have existing mental health challenges, or if you’re experiencing fear or anxiety in a way that feels debilitating or scary, please reach out to your local medical doctor or mental health professional immediately.

A new reality is upon us. I’m convinced that if we accept this break from our previous routines with gratitude and openness, and we become deeply intentional about connecting with ourselves, our roommates, our families and our communities, we will emerge from this more deeply connected to the people we love than ever before.


What is World Health Day about?

7 April 2020 is the day to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies. Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response.

In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day will highlight the current status of nursing and around the world. WHO and its partners will make a series of recommendations to strengthen of the nursing and midwifery workforce.

This will be vital if we are to achieve national and global targets related to universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centered care, amongst others.

We are calling for your support on World Health Day to ensure that the nursing and midwifery workforces are strong enough to ensure that everyone, everywhere gets the healthcare they need.

The tagline for World Health Day is: Support nurses and midwives.


: National Public Health Week and COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic means public health is the topic of the day worldwide. How does that apply to our National Public Health Week daily themes? Here are just a few ideas.


MONDAY: MENTAL HEALTH — advocate for and promote emotional well-being


COVID-19 is causing heightened levels of stress. In particular, isolation and quarantine can be highly stressful. As can separation from loved ones, especially those detained off-shore or in other countries. And many in the public health and health care sectors, as well as those working in affected industries, are shouldering a significant mental health burden.


Reach out and check on your loved ones and community members. And read and share such resources as the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tips on managing anxiety and stress.



TUESDAY: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH — ensure the health of mothers and babies throughout the lifespan

Research to date finds pregnant women and young children do not seem to be more susceptible to COVID-19. If anything, women (in general) may have a survival advantage over men (In China, 2.8% of infected men have died, compared to 1.7% of women).


Still, pregnant women and children are considered “at-risk populations” and need some special support during the pandemic. Check out the Kaiser Family Foundation’s issue brief Novel Coronavirus “COVID-19”: Special Considerations for Pregnant Women. has a COVID-19 page for children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers links to clinical guidance and other resources, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has posted a practice advisory.



WEDNESDAY: VIOLENCE PREVENTION — reduce personal and community violence to improve health


Increased stress can lead to increased aggression, feeding a cycle of violence especially in communities already under strain. And, as APHA member Elena Ong writes in this Public Health Newswire post, “Since the first case of the new coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, in December, there’s been a surge in reports of microaggressions, discrimination and violent attacks against people who look Chinese or Asian.”


Much of the stress people are feeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is linked to fear fed by misinformation. Help counteract the “infodemic” of bad and troubling information by sharing WHO’s mythbusters and resources on APHA’s COVID-19 page and Get Ready site. And as Ong reminds us, “let’s fight fear-mongering with principled and visionary leadership.”



THURSDAY: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH — help protect and maintain a healthy planet


In perhaps one of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution, specifically CO2 levels, diminished in Italy due to dramatic lifestyle changes. Yet as always, changes in people’s lifestyle patterns can have unexpected consequences on our environment. For now, remain vigilant in recycling plastics. If you are sick, dispose of soiled items by double-bagging in secured containers with lids. Continue to advocate for increased funding to improve our water infrastructure and adequate funding to support public health workers in monitoring, preparing for and responding to the health effects of climate change.



FRIDAY: EDUCATION — advocate for quality education and schools


As with any illness, reliance on science-based information and response is key. Schools at all levels should be engaged in active surveillance and communicate with their state and local public health departments should a person display possible COVID-19 symptoms. Distance learning is now more necessary than ever, heightening the need for access to technology and high-speed internet As schools are often the key source of daily nutrition for students in low-income families, school systems are now called on to find ways to distribute meals while maintaining social distancing.


Reach out to your local school system to see if volunteers are needed, whether for meal distribution, online learning support or other tasks. If you’ve found yourself suddenly at home with your school-aged children, CDC has advice on how to talk to them about COVID-19, as does the National Association of School Psychologists.



SATURDAY: HEALTHY HOMES — ensure access to affordable and safe housing


During the COVID-19 quarantine, people are spending even more time in their homes than usual. For those living in unsafe environments, problems like mold and secondhand smoke exposure can worsen existing health conditions.


Share CDC’s workplace, home and school guidance. And while designed to help people prepare their homes for an outbreak, CDC’s Protect Your Home page is still useful now, in the midst of the pandemic. The National Center for Healthy Housing’s Fact Sheets, Checklists and Guides page offers links on ways to keep your home safe, the costs of home upkeep and seasonal maintenance checklists.



SUNDAY: ECONOMICS — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life


One of the most dramatic reactions to COVID-19 has been that of the stock markets and the underlying industries they represent. It already appears clear that many industries and their employees will suffer a significant financial hardship. On an individual level, the burden of being out of work and (potentially) hospitalized for an extended period of time can have disastrous impacts on financial health.

Advocate for paid sick leave and a living wage. Urge your members of Congress to prioritize public health infrastructure and paid sick, family and medical leave in any future legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.



These tips brought to you by the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association and APHA.



National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is mobilizing law enforcement officers nationwide to look out for drivers texting or using their phone behind the wheel. The ‘U Drive. U Text. U Pay.’ high-visibility enforcement campaign, now in its fifth year.

In 2016, new NHTSA data shows that at least 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, including those who were texting and driving. Key statistical findings in NHTSA’s new 2016 Distracted Driving Research Note and Teen Distracted Driver Fact Sheet include:

To prevent tragedies due to distracted driving, motorists are urged to:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
  • Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against unsafe drivers.

All pedestrians and bicyclists should focus on their surroundings and not on their electronic devices.


The Hidden Costs of Alcoholism

People who engage in alcoholic behavior often think their drinking is a personal choice; it has no impact on those around them, and their excessive drinking is “no one’s business but my own.” In recovery, these same people are surprised to learn the devastation their alcohol abuse brought on the lives of those around them.

As a culture, when we hear that the number of people affected by alcoholism is growing, we seem to think, “That’s their business — “their” being the alcoholic.”

The findings of recent studies, however, challenge that notion that drinking only impacts the alcoholic. A careful cost analysis of the complex cycle of alcoholism reveals it as a disease that reaches deep into the pockets of our national, state, and local finances to trigger a multitude of “hidden costs.”

Dangerous behaviors common among alcoholics include impaired judgment and coordination, falling asleep at the wheel, falling asleep with lit cigarettes, aggressive outbursts, drinking to the point of vomiting, hangover, or alcohol poisoning — and these are just the ones most alcoholics experience in the course of their disease. All of these behaviors will eventually hit the system, in the form of health care costs, criminal justice costs, motor vehicle crash costs, and workplace productivity

The Hidden Costs of Alcoholism are Not Small.

It is estimated that alcohol-related expenses cost federal, state, and local governments $223.5 billion. Of that amount, taxpayers are footing the bill for $94.2 billion.

And in spite of our best efforts, alcoholism continues to take about 216 lives every day, or approximately 79,000 per year.

Who else ends up paying the costs of alcoholism? In addition to friends and family, the workplace suffers as the alcoholic worker becomes unreliable, repeatedly absent, and then gone. If the company is not losing productivity, then the alcoholic’s coworkers are pulling extra weight and, in essence, paying the cost of the individual’s absence.

Alcohol Recovery and Addiction

Once a person is addicted to alcohol, to stop it may take hospitalizations, rehabilitations, and re-rehabilitations all of which hemorrhage expenses — not to mention destroy relationships and property. The estimated cost to the system of this specialized addiction care is $24.6 billion. Since addiction is a disease that rewires the brain, the individual is unlikely to quit through “willpower” alone, and it often takes something dramatic (or “hitting rock bottom”) before they will make changes. There are costs associated with these dramatic scenarios. In the case of car accidents caused by driving drunk, costs include not just hospitalization, but the cost to insurance companies, car owners, municipal employees responding to the accident, and a continued chain reaction of costs that could ultimately include vehicular homicides and funeral expenses.

Costs associated with alcohol-related vehicular accidents alone are estimated at a staggering $14 billion a year.


Types of Alcoholics

  1. The first type, defined as the young adult subtype, includes young adult drinkers who don’t have family histories of alcoholism or co-occurring mental illnesses.
  2. The second type, known as the young antisocial subtype, also includes young adult drinkers. These people do have a family history of alcoholism, and they also have co-occurring mental illnesses and addictions to other substances.
  3. The third type, the functional subtype, is middle-aged and successful with a stable job and a supportive family. These are people with a family history of alcoholism, and about a quarter of them have a history of depression.
  4. The fourth type, the intermediate familial subtype, includes middle-aged people with a family history of alcoholism and a prior depressive episode.
  5. The fifth type, the chronic severe subtype, includes middle-aged people with family histories of alcoholism, a history of mental illness, and addictions to other substances.



The Prevalence of Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism in the U.S.

However, the dangers of alcohol abuse go beyond college kids getting too drunk at parties. An estimated 14.4 million Americans ages 18 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2018 according to NSDUH.3 Across the nation, 26.45% individuals 18 and older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month (typically 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in about 2 hours) while 6.6% engaged in heavy alcohol use (binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month) in the past month.3


Each year, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually and in 2014 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31% of overall driving fatalities (9,967 deaths).3 Unfortunately, these deaths could have been avoided, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.3


Problematic alcohol use has taken a toll on our economy. Drinking-related costs reached an estimated $249 billion in the U.S. in 2010, with binge drinking accounting for three-quarters of this economic burden.3 And $2 of every $5 were paid by federal, state, and local governments, meaning all Americans are paying for excessive alcohol use—no matter your level of consumption.4


These numbers suggest that problematic alcohol use continues to plague our society, and awareness about addiction and its harmful effects on our lives, is necessary in order to protect our loved ones and selves.