April is Alcohol Awareness Month and The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) reminds you that if your drinking has caused problems in your relationships, at work, at home, financially, physically or legally, it’s time to get “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.” Drinking too much alcohol can lead to health problems, including alcohol poisoning, and an increased risk of heart disease. This April we encourage you to take this time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
In the US, there were 290 000 drunken driving crashes in 2020, over 10,000 of those crashes were fatal (MADD). Young drinking drivers are at the highest risk. Drivers 20 years old or younger are almost three times more likely to be involved in alcohol related fatal crashes than other drivers. Even though most teenagers know that you should not drink and drive, nearly a third still accepts rides from drivers who have been drinking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2021, 29% of youth’s grades 9-12 have used alcohol in their lifetime and 14 % binge drink. Binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women. Tragic health, social and economic problems result from the use of alcohol by youth. Underage drinking is a causal factor in a host of serious problems, including homicide, suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, burns, violent and property crime, high risk sex, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and need for treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence.
Community norms that foster alcohol abuse are a major factor. Parental support, monitoring and communication can significantly reduce drinking among adolescents.
- Educate yourself and loved ones, especially our youth, about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
- Support and encourage referrals for treatment for individuals when alcohol misuse is suspected or present.
If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Keep track of how much you drink, avoid places where overdrinking occurs, and find new ways to deal with stress. If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.
To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed. Men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week
Members of the Army Substance Abuse Team are available if you have any questions or would like for us to do a presentation for your organization on this or any other substance abuse trends. Please call the ASAP 314. 596 2530 for further information and referral services. Help is available!