Rising Stakes: The Special Importance of Alcohol Awareness Month in 2024

Rising Stakes: The Special Importance of Alcohol Awareness Month in 2024


Alcohol Awareness Month has long been a critical time to confront the challenges and risks associated with unhealthy alcohol use. This year, the observance is more crucial than ever. We are experiencing rapidly increasing rates of alcohol consumption and a significant rise in alcohol-related deaths, effects that are disproportionately impacting women and are further intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This April offers a vital opportunity to enhance our understanding and rethink our culture’s relationship with alcohol to help reverse these alarming trends and promote positive mental and physical health.

Alcohol Use Soared and Remains High Post-Pandemic 

Increased Consumption and Health Risks

Many of us know someone—a friend or a loved one—who began drinking more heavily during the pandemic, a time when alcohol sales were deemed an “essential business.” Beyond these personal anecdotes, the emerging data is even more alarming. The stress, isolation, and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have sharply increased the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption. This rise is not a mere temporary shift; it has led to significant long-term health risks and a substantial increase in alcohol-related fatalities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2016 and 2021, the average number of annual deaths from excessive alcohol use in the U.S. jumped by over 40,000—a 29% increase—to 178,000. This underscores the critical need for targeted educational and community intervention programs, highlighting why Alcohol Awareness Month is more vital than ever this year

Spotlight on Women: A Growing Crisis in Alcohol Use

One particularly alarming trend is the increasing rate of alcohol use among women. The rate women are likely to die from alcohol-related deaths increased by 14.7% between 2018 and 2020 (exceeding men, whose rate also increased by 12.5%).

Underlying Factors:

The Myth of Unequal Consumption: Contrary to traditional beliefs that men drink more than women, recent studies indicate that women are consuming alcohol at rates equal to or greater than men, especially in terms of binge drinking.

Biological Differences: Women metabolize alcohol differently than men, often experiencing more severe health effects from the same amount of alcohol.

Behavioral Influences: The primary drivers behind the change in drinking patterns among women appear to be behavioral, largely influenced by higher stress levels:

  • Coping Mechanism: Research shows that women are more likely to use alcohol as a stress reliever compared to men.
  • Mental Health: A significant portion of women (43%) rate their overall mental health as average, poor, or very poor, compared to 15% of men.
  • Work-Life Balance: About 21% of women report that their work negatively impacts their mental health, higher than the 13% of men. Additionally, women are twice as likely to report rarely taking time off work.
  • Home Responsibilities: Women typically take on more duties at home, adding to their overall stress and influencing their alcohol consumption patterns.

Addressing the Crisis:

These challenges highlight the need for tailored approaches in education, treatment, and community support specifically designed for women. Alcohol Awareness Month serves as an essential platform to spotlight these issues and mobilize resources to effectively address them. By focusing on the unique needs of women, we can develop more effective interventions and support systems to help mitigate the rising trends in alcohol use among this demographic.

How You Can Make a Difference This Year

Stay Informed: Educate yourself about the dangers of increased alcohol use during and after the pandemic and specific issues faced by women.
Provide Support: Reach out to friends or family who might be struggling with alcohol use. Offer your understanding and resources to help.
Promote Healthy Alternatives: Encourage participation in activities that don’t involve alcohol. Organize or join in on events like sober social gatherings, virtual meetups for hobbies, or fitness challenges that help build healthier habits.


For those who are trying to cut back or quit drinking, Monument’s dedicated network of doctors (who can prescribe medication) and therapists who understand the nuances of treating alcohol use disorder are helpful tools in changing your relationship with alcohol. If you, a friend, or a loved one are looking for peer support or simply to better understand alcohol use disorder, Monument’s community is a wonderful resource. Monument’s community hosts moderated support groups, monthly webinars, and many other resources.


This year, Alcohol Awareness Month takes on special importance. Faced with startling increases in alcohol consumption and related deaths, particularly among women, and exacerbated by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this observance calls us to action.  We can all contribute to a healthier, more informed community by deepening our education and spreading awareness. Let’s use this April to change lives positively and sustainably.

About the Author

Zachary Rogers is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and Fordham School of Law, where he completed his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. He began his career at TechGC, an exclusive community for general counsels of leading tech companies and venture funds, where he launched and scaled highly curated industry-specific communities. Currently, Zachary serves as the Director of Growth at Monument, a digital health platform focused on treatment for alcohol use disorder. In this role, he spearheads initiatives across marketing, content, and partnership development to enhance Monument’s growth. He collaborates closely with the clinical team and external experts to produce insightful content that explores the impact of alcohol in our society. His efforts are also directed towards forming strategic alliances with benefits leaders, brokers, payers, and PEOs to integrate Monument’s alcohol treatment platform into employer benefits programs. Zachary is passionately committed to destigmatizing alcohol dependency and reshaping public perception through innovative educational content and meaningful partnerships.