Serving the Community Since 1956

Serving the Community Since 1956

Friday, June 27, 2014

Before you Drink...Think

There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States.

Excessive drinking includes heavy drinking, binge drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.
  • Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive alcohol consumption, is defined as consuming
    • For women, 4 or more drinks during a single occasion.
    • For men, 5 or more drinks during a single occasion.
  • Heavy drinking is defined as consuming
    • For women, 8 or more drinks per week.
    • For men, 15 or more drinks per week.
Most people who binge drink are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.

There are many short-term risks related to excessive alcohol use, including: injuries, violence, impaired judgment, risky behavior, dehydration and alcohol poisoning.

Long term effects can be life threatening. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems. These include but are not limited to:

  • Neurological problems, including dementia, stroke and neuropathy
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide
  • Social problems, including unemployment, lost productivity, and family problems
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast
  • Liver diseases
  • Other gastrointestinal problems
“Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death that kills many Americans in the prime of their lives,” said Ursula E. Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “We need to redouble our efforts to implement scientifically proven public health approaches to reduce this tragic loss of life and the huge economic costs that result.”

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