April 23, 2015
Contact: Veronica Mikitka Reed This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 215.434.7194


PHILADELPHIA—Eighteen percent of people in Southeastern Pennsylvania between the ages of 18 and 59, report suffering from an alcohol or drug problem, while forty-nine percent know someone in recovery from alcohol or other drugs, according to survey data released today from the 2012 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, a biennial survey conducted by Public Health Management Corporation's (PHMC) Community Health Data Base.

The data was released in recognition of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence's Alcohol Awareness Month, which aims to increase public awareness and understanding in order to reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help. Nationally, alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance.

This year's theme, "For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction," was chosen to address and prevent youth drinking. People age 12 to 20 drink more than 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States. Children who start drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking when 21 or older. Addiction to alcohol at a young age can lead to numerous health issues, neurological impairments and social problems. At this time, there is no known cure for alcohol addiction, but it can be treated with proper counseling and the use of medications.

"The SEPA Household Health Survey data demonstrates how widespread the problem of alcoholism is in the region among all races and ethnicities," said Francine Axler, Executive Director, Community Health Data Base. "However, it is also a testament to how successful treatment can be, and how much is left to be done in our communities to bring awareness to this topic."

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To help Philadelphians working to recover from addiction, PHMC and its affiliates provide services to men and women through programs like the following:
- The Step Down program offered by The Bridge is a residential treatment program for women recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, and up to three of their children. While in residence, all participants take part in outpatient treatment and self-help recovery meeting.
- New Pathways and New Pathways for Women Project is a community-based recovery support program in North Philadelphia. The program serves Philadelphians throughout the city who are seeking help with addiction-related problems or are in the process of attaining medical assistance.
- Interim House is a residential treatment program that empowers women to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, pursue healthy lifestyles and find purpose and meaning in their lives.

The Household Health Survey is conducted by telephone and includes 10,000 households in the SEPA region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties). For more information about these findings, contact Laurel Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


About Public Health Management Corporation's Community Health Data Base

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. The Community Health Data Base (CHDB) includes the Household Health Survey, one of the largest regional health surveys in the country. The Pew Charitable Trusts, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, United Way of North Penn, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, North Penn Community Health Foundation, Thomas Scattergood Foundation, Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, and over 350 local agencies from the health, government, nonprofit and academic sectors help to support the CHDB and the survey. For more information, visit