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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk of health-related problems like injuries, violence, liver disease, and some types of cancer. The Center for Community Health and Wellness encourages you to take this time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States. This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death.The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 were estimated at $223.5 billion.

Immediate health risks of excessive alcohol include unintentional injuries, risky sexual behavior, and alcohol poisoning. The long term health risks of excessive alcohol includes neurological problems, cardiovascular problems, social problems, depression and anxiety, a variety of cancers, liver diseases and other stomach problems.

You don't need to refrain from alcohol to stay health; the key is moderation. Experts suggest that one serving of alcohol once a day, such as a glass of wine, may actually help prevent cardiovascular disease. 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 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men.
  • Keep track of how much you drink.
  • Don't drink when you are upset.
  • Avoid places where people drink too much.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach
  • Alternate every other alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic beverage such as water, juice, or soda

Learn more about alcohol and your health.

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