Many of you know that my husband is a Fire Fighter. In his 30+-year career, he’s seen the devastation an alcohol-related crash can cause many, many, many times. And while we hear about drunk drivers in the news quite often because of the death and injury they cause, there’s far more to the trauma drinking causes that doesn’t make the headlines.
This poem highlights more ways that the abuse of alcohol ruins lives…
One Too Many.
One too many – drink and drive; One too many – can result in high risk behavior; One too many – people have died from alcoholism; One too many – families have been torn apart due to drinking; One too many – can increase your risk of cancer; One too many – victims of alcohol-related domestic violence, abuse, assault or homicides; One too many – one is too many, if you are pregnant; One too many – don’t understand that help is available; One too many – children are growing up in a family with alcoholism; One too many – active duty military personnel and veterans need help for alcoholism; One too many – deaths of young people due to alcohol overdose; One too many – people need treatment and do not have access; One too many – are in jail rather than in treatment; One too many – can cause accidents, falls and injury to self or others; One too many – children are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD); One too many – victims of alcohol-related falls, fire deaths or accidents; One too many – alcohol-related suicide deaths; One too many – don’t seek help for themselves, their family or a friend; One too many – workers miss work due to drinking; One too many – victims of drinking and driving crashes; One too many – still believes that recovery is not possible; One too many – have died from this treatable disease!
Source: The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
But drinking too much alcohol can lead to health problems as well. In the extreme, and the one that makes the news most often, is alcohol poisoning. But the everyday health issues include hangovers, liver problems, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease. As you continue to abuse alcohol, the health problems increase and can result in internal bleeding, infections, and neurological disorders. My husband sees a lot of this as well, in aid calls from people suffering great pain. Sadly, there’s nothing he can do for them but have them transported to the hospital for care. And unfortunately, most come home and repeat the process.
If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by moderating or quitting. Keep track of how much you drink, avoid places where overdrinking occurs, and find new ways to handle stress or past issues so you don’t reach for a drink. What’s moderation? No more than 1 drink a day for women and two for men. What’s a drink equal? 5oz of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz shot.
Besides being better for your health, your family, and the community, drinking less will line your pocket. Drinking is expensive – use this Alcohol-Spending Calculator to find out how much money you can save by giving up or reducing your intake. Take a day or more off a week from drinking and don’t increase your intake on other days.
LINKS and TOOLS
- Have some questions about alcohol? You’re not alone. @CDC_ehealth shares their answers. .
- FREE pub from NIAAA: Alcohol—A Women’s Health Issue
- Alcohol Use: Conversation Starters
- Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation
- Manage Stress
- Talk With Your Doctor About Depression
- Talk to Your Kids About Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs
Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may have a problem with alcohol:
- Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
- Does your drinking ever make you late for work?
- Does your drinking worry your family?
- Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won’t?
- Do you ever forget what you did while drinking?
- Do you get headaches or have a hangover after drinking?
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Strategies to Cut Back or Quit Drinking
There are many strategies you can try to cut back or quit drinking. To get started:
- Keep track of your drinking and set a drinking limit.
- Try to avoid places where heavy drinking occurs.
- Ask for help from a doctor, family, or friends.
- If you keep alcohol in your home, keep only a limited supply.
Source: How to Cut Down on Your Drinking
Living and Coping With an Alcoholic
Living with or being affected by someone using alcohol is very difficult. There is help available. Here are links to some of the organizations available to help you.
WIN A GIFT CERTIFICATE TOWARD BETTER HEALTH FROM GNC
Comment Contest – Winner
Prize won: GNC Gift Certificate
Comment: wcc says I follow them on Twitter (@whitechocolatec) and on FB (username: Les Cerises.) Thanks for the chance! 🙂
GNC wants to reward people making a positive change in their health. They provide online information about vitamins and supplements, sports nutrition, exercise, and more you and your pets, so that anyone wanting to improve their health can get information and assistance all in one place. They also carry health and beauty care. To support people moving towards a healthier lifestyle, they’ve given me a GNC $100 eGift Card to share with one of you.
To enter, at GNC’s request, you MUST do the following:
- Like GNC’s Official Facebook Page AND
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Giveaway available to US mailing addresses only. Regular Contest/Promotion Rules apply. Contest ends 5/5/2011 at 11:59pm PT.
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Do any or all and comment below. Up to 17 entries per person are available by utilizing the extra entries.
Disclosure: I received a gift card for hosting the giveaway, the topic and content are my own.
- Nearly All American Adults With Untreated Alcohol Use Disorders Don’t Think They Need Treatment (addictionts.com)
- Zero Tolerance for Underage Alcohol and Drug Experimentation (psychologytoday.com)
- Tapping Into Drinking Facts for Alcohol Awarness Month (nlm.nih.gov)