NIH News Advisory
National Institute on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Tuesday, November 21, 2000
NIAAA Press (301) 443-3860

Research Insights into Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Highlighted in 10th Special Report

Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala has announced the availability of the 10th Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health, produced by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The report highlights recent research advances on the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of alcohol addiction (alcoholism) and alcohol abuse.

The 492-page report, available in print and on the internet, documents the scope of alcohol’s impact on society. The effects range from violence to traffic crashes to lost productivity to illness and premature death — all of which, combined, cost our nation an estimated $184.6 billion per year. The report also conveys the rapid progress of research into the genetic and environmental factors that can lead to alcohol addiction. Scientists are using these insights to develop and test new ways of preventing and treating this disease. "Alcohol problems can yield to scientific investigation and medical intervention in the same way as other health conditions," writes DHHS Secretary Donna Shalala in the foreword.

The new report presents advances in alcohol research since 1997, when the last edition of Alcohol and Health was published. "This report reflects the tremendous growth in the scope of alcohol research," according to NIAAA Director Enoch Gordis, M.D. Contemporary alcohol research spans all life stages — from prenatal alcohol exposure to drinking problems in the elderly — and applies the latest methods of basic, epidemiological, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research, often in multidisciplinary collaborations. The following research areas are among those detailed in the 10th Report:

The report contains eight chapters: (1) Drinking Over the Life Span: Issues of Biology, Behavior and Risk, (2) Alcohol and the Brain: Neuroscience and Neurobehavior, (3) Genetic and Psychosocial Influences, (4) Medical Consequences, (5) Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol, (6) Economic and Health Services Perspectives, (7) Prevention, and (8) Treatment. Each chapter is divided into two to six subsections that can be downloaded individually in PDF format from the NIAAA website ( Bound copies of the entire 492-page report can also be ordered by writing to: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Publications Distribution Center, P.O. Box 10686, Rockville, MD 20849-0686.

The NIAAA produced the 10th Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health with guidance from a distinguished editorial advisory board and contributions from some of the world’s leading alcohol researchers. A component of the National Institutes of Health, NIAAA funds more than 90 percent of the alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction (alcoholism) research in the United States.