Federal government awards $16 Million to combat unhealthy alcohol use

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, today announced a $16 million initiative to help primary care practices increase efforts to address patients’ unhealthy alcohol use.

Six grantees from across the country, including one in Michigan, will work with more than 700 primary care practices over the next three years to develop effective strategies to address excessive alcohol use.

“Primary care providers have emerged as an important pathway for connecting patients to treatment for substance use challenges,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Excessive alcohol use affects almost a third of adults and is the nation’s third leading cause of preventable death, according to a press release by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“These grants will help primary care practices apply proven interventions to tackle this preventable problem,” said AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna.

The press release goes on to say excessive alcohol use is a major risk factor for many health, social, and economic problems as well as has an estimated annual economic burden of over $250 billion.

One of the grantees is the Altarum Institute in Michigan, which was founded in 1946 by University of Michigan engineering professors.

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