Alcohol awareness is knowing the effects and risks that drinking alcohol can have on you or someone you know. A drink is defined as one 12 oz. beer, 8 oz. of liquor, 5 oz .of wine and 1.5 oz. of 80 proof. A drink considered for the average female is one daily and for the average male is two daily. It is recommended to drink in moderation. The legal drinking age is 21 years old in the U.S.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and it affects every organ in the body. It is absorbed in the stomach and small intestines and therefore absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver which happens slowly leaving the excess amount to circulate in the body. The intensity of the effect is determined by how much an individual consumes.
Alcohol causes problems with one’s work, social activities, personal relationships and how one feels and thinks. There are short-term and long-term health risks with the use of alcohol. Some short-term health risks include injuries from accidents such as motor vehicle and falls, sexual assault, alcohol poisoning and suicide. Long-term health risks include heart disease, dementia, alcohol dependency, stroke and liver issues. About 88,000 deaths a year in the US is related to alcohol.
If you or someone you know has dependency on alcohol or a drinking problem, you can contact the primary care provider for treatment and/or call a treatment center for information on an alcohol program. The local Alcoholics Anonymous for our area is 740.992.5898.
Terri Hoschar BSN is a public health nurse at the Meigs County Health Department.