Commentary: Alcohol Awareness Month 2014
link U.S. Air Force photo illustration: Samuel King Jr.
Ensuring military members are aware of the consequences and limitations of alcohol abuse and driving under the influence can have a profound effect on their career and possibly life. To learn more about the impact of alcohol or substance abuse, call the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment clinic at 575-784-1108.
27th Special Operations Medical Operations Squadron
“Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.” April is recognized as Alcohol Awareness Month by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The special emphasis month encourages the public to dedicate this month to understand how excessive drinking can affect health, evaluate their own drinking habits and to discover the latest developments in treatment for alcohol use disorders.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment clinic at Cannon Air Force Base has informational tables in the medical clinic, the Base Exchange and the Fitness Center for increasing awareness on how drinking too much, too recklessly or too frequently can create alcohol-related problems and have negative health consequences.
Teenagers who are 15 years old or younger and experiment with alcohol are four times more likely to become alcohol-dependent than those who wait until they are 20 years old or older to drink. It is important for parents to identify and prevent alcohol-related problems before they begin.
According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, more 6,500 people annually under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents, and thousands more are injured.
Symptoms associated with alcohol poisoning include slow breathing, cold and clammy skin and vomiting. If you encounter an individual with these symptoms, stay alert and place them on their side while contacting 911 or medical authorities. Informational resources to educate teens and young Airmen about the risks of underage drinking and the consequences of alcohol-related problems are available through the ADAPT clinic.
One serving or drink of alcohol consists of: 12 ounces of beer, eight ounces of malt liquor, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits.
Each one of these respectively contains the same amount of alcohol, or ethanol. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, drinking in moderation means one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Though drinking in moderation is encouraged, it can still increase the risk of developing breast cancer in some women.
If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:
• Limit your drinking to no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.
• Keep track of how much you drink.
• Don’t drink when you are upset.
• Avoid places where people drink a lot.
• Make a list of reasons not to drink.
To celebrate this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month, it is encouraged to set three days aside to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages. Spread awareness; contact ADAPT for questions and resources at 575-784-1108.