Just One More Drink ~ April is Alcohol Awareness Month

By Chris Bell

April is Alcohol Awareness Month PosterWhen is one more drink one too many? Since April is Alcohol Awareness Month, now would be a good time to determine that for yourself.

For many of us, having an alcoholic beverage is no big deal — after work, with the girlfriends, to relieve stress.  We drink when we are happy and when we are sad, in good times and in bad, to celebrate or to soothe our pains. In fact, a recent Gallup Poll found that 66% of adults ages 18 and over have an alcoholic drink on occasion. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, established both to call attention to the damaging affects of alcohol and to renew support for people who are battling to overcome alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that can be fatal if untreated.

What is drinking too much alcohol?

Well, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines “at risk” or “heavy” drinking as:

  • For men, more than four drinks on any single day or more than 14 drinks in a week;
  • For women, more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks in a week;

Dr. Eric D. Collins, the Physician-in-Chief at Silver Hill Hospital, emphasizes that alcoholism treatment can be very effective. With proper care, it is possible for people suffering with alcoholism to lead healthy lives and make lasting changes. “Treatment of this addiction is now comparably as effective as treatment of other chronic illnesses, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, estimates suggest that there are now as many as 20 million people in the U.S. living in full, sustained remission, or recovery, from their alcoholism.”

In fact, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence suggests participating in their Alcohol-Free Weekend, which takes place on the first weekend of April. The NCADD extends an open invitation to all Americans to engage in three alcohol-free days. Those individuals or families who experience difficulty or discomfort in this 72-hour experiment are urged to contact local NCADD affiliates, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Al-Anon/Alateen Family Groups to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms.

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