You can improve your health by cutting back on alcohol or quitting. Federal Dietary Guidelines on alcohol consumption say that if alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation. This means:
• No more than 1 drink a day for women
• No more than 2 drinks a day for men
One drink is considered:
• Bottle of beer (12 ounces)
• Glass of wine (5 ounces)
• Shot of liquor (1.5 ounces)
Here are some strategies to help if you think you’re drinking too much:
• Keep track of how much you drink.
• Don’t drink when you’re upset.
• Avoid places where people drink a lot.
• Make a list of reasons not to drink.
• If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.
More than 18 million individuals or 8.5 percent of Americans suffer from alcohol-use disorders. Here in Michigan, the Michigan State Police 2012 Drunk Driving Audit showed that alcohol and/or drug related fatal crashes remained a significant traffic safety issue with approximately 36.1 percent of the total fatal crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs.
For April 2014, the focus of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) is underage drinking which can have devastating individual, family and community consequences. Alcohol has always been the number one drug for teenagers and it is still true today. Reducing underage drinking is important to assure a healthy future for America’s youth. It requires a cooperative effort from parents, schools, community organizations, business leaders, government agencies, the entertainment industry, alcohol manufacturers/retailers and young people.
With this year's theme called, "Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow," the month of April will have local, state, and national events aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism. NCADD Affiliates as well as schools, colleges, churches, and other community organizations will sponsor a host of activities that create awareness and encourage individuals and families to get help for alcohol-related problems. Click on the link above to find the affiliate in your state. People can also call the NCADD’s HOPE LINE for Affiliate Referral at 800-NCA-CALL (800-622-2255) for 24-hour help.
An important part of Alcohol Awareness Month is the Alcohol-Free Weekend (April 4-6, 2014), which hopes to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it affects individuals, families and the community. During this seventy-two-hour period, NCADD extends an open invitation to all Americans to participate in three alcohol-free days and to use this time to contact local NCADD Affiliates and other alcoholism agencies to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms. Anyone who finds it difficult to get through the seventy-two hour period is urged to contact their local NCADD Affiliates, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Al-Anon Family Groups.
For more information about NCADD, underage drinking, NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month and the NCADD Alcohol-Free Weekend, visit the NCADD website at: www.ncadd.org.