SALEM, OR-- The Oregon Health Authority has a new television, radio and print campaign to address excessive drinking called “Rethink the Drink.” The OHA's Rachel Banks says, "We have data showing us that alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, as people have coped with the stress and changes to daily life caused by the virus." But, she says people are ready to talk about their drinking.
Deputy State Health Officer Dr. Tom Jeanne says the OHA recognizes the alcohol industry is a big economic driver in Oregon. "We’re not telling people to stop drinking. However, we need to talk about how excessive alcohol use is affecting us as a community and if we could be handling this issue in a healthier way."
The new campaign cost $772,000 - largely funded by federal grants. Dr. Jeanne says it’s a small price to pay compared with the harm of doing nothing, "Altogether, excessive alcohol use costs Oregon $4.8 billion every year in negative impacts. So that includes healthcare expenses, it includes motor vehicle crash es, it includes criminal justice costs and lost productivity. "