A twelve pack of Budweiser sits on a shelf for sale at a convenience store in New York City.

A twelve pack of Budweiser sits on a shelf for sale at a convenience store in New York City.

More than 70 percent of American adults drink alcohol.

It’s a rite of passage that can become a life-long habit. And even for those who choose not to imbibe, drinking can feel like a quintessential part of adulthood.

But for some Americans, those habits can slip from occasional and innocuous to frequent and potentially fatal.

USA Today‘s Jayne O’Donnell has reported on the dangers of alcohol consumption for years. For her, it’s not just a health policy story. Here’s part of what she wrote last year about her early struggles with alcoholism:

For me, fortunately, dashing my dreams of an on-air television and print journalism career became my “bottom.” It surprised even me that I would drink all through Super Bowl Sunday, stopping only to sleep about an hour before showing up for a 6 a.m. TV spot the next day, Jan. 27, 1992. And that’s despite the fact I was drinking about two bottles of wine a night in the 10 years since college.

[…] Until I started researching the dramatically increasing deaths due to alcohol, I thought society’s drinking problem had changed along with my own. After all, people seemed far more focused on working out and eating healthy, and there is so much more attention on drunken driving. Plus, the opioid epidemic is getting all the attention now, even though it’s all the same disease – addiction. Having to alternate liquor stores and justify bulk wine purchases seemed so last decade.

Was I ever wrong.

We want to hear from you about your relationship with alcohol. How has it changed since you had your first sip? We’re taking live calls: (855) 236-1A1A.


  • Anna Sale Host, the "Death, Sex and Money" podcast from WYNC;@annasale
  • Jayne O'Donnell Health policy reporter, USA Today;@JayneODonnell


Courtesy of Death, Sex & Money.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Alcoholics Anonymous is an international resource which connects individuals who have/had a drinking problem. Alcohol Anonymous uses a twelve step approach to recovery and wellness with regular group meetings.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers information and resources around a number of different substances including alcohol. Call their help line (1-800-662-HELP (4357)) to be connected with assistance for seeking help and treatment options.

Al-Anon Family Groups: Al-Anon is a support group for people with a loved one who is affected by alcohol, regardless of whether or not the loved one has admitted to a problem or is seeking help for their addiction. Al-Anon also offers special assistance and support for teens with loved ones with an alcohol addiction.

Women For Sobriety: A non-profit organization catering to women seeking recovery for substance use disorders. Women for Sobriety has “certified moderators and chat leaders leading mutual support groups online and in person, as well as phone volunteers available for one-on-one support.” They welcome all expressions of female identity.

Self-Managing and Recovery Training: SMART recovery offers assistance to a broad range of addictive behaviors and substances, including alcohol. Using social support groups and a variety of other tools such as self-assessments and worksheets, SMART Recovery utilizes a “self-empowering” approach for treatment.


Topics + Tags

Most Recent Shows

The News Roundup – Domestic

Friday, Jan 17 2020The Senate impeachment trial will begin in earnest. Virginia ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment. The Houston Astros are caught cheating.