Alcohol Awareness week begins on November 19. The week includes Thanksgiving on Nov. 22 when families get together to celebrate the first of the holidays and overlaps with the MADD ‘Tie One on for Safety’ yearly campaign. The theme for this week is "change" on all levels of individual, community, and government support for programs to understand alcohol abuse.
This is also the ideal time to understand the impact of alcohol on your mind and body.
While many may drink to relax after a long day or as part of social settings, it’s important to know your limits. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause the following problems:
- Slowed, slurred speech and response time
- Inability to walk straight
- Severe indigestion
- Liver damage
- Heart damage
- Brain damage
Protein synthesis is lower by 20% after excessive drinking and it inhibits the ability to exercise. Loss of muscle tone and skin elasticity can also result from excessive alcohol intake. Anxiety and depression, belligerence and aggressive behavior can result from alcohol abuse.
Alcohol should never be consumed with any medication from simple pain relievers to prescription drugs. Alcohol mixed with illegal drugs can be fatal.
How much should I drink?
Alcohol tolerance varies from person to person depending factors like height, body composition, and gender. How much food you consume and what you drink also make a difference in how alcohol affects your body. Rich, creamy foods such as cheese dips slow the absorption rate of one ounce of alcohol in some people. Beer and wine have less alcohol per ounce than distilled spirits.
Drink in moderation. While studies suggest one can have two or three ounces of alcohol a day without negative effects, understanding how your body is affected by alcohol and the long-term consequences of alcohol abuse is vital to protecting your health and well-being. Physical dependence on alcohol can indicate a drinking problem. Alcohol abuse disorders also cause psychological symptoms like relying on alcohol as a coping mechanism, defensiveness, and attempting to hide or downplay one’s drinking habits.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, now is the time to take action. Contact us today.