Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the U.S. Nearly 18 million people – one in every 12 adults – suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence; several million more engage in risky binge drinking patterns. Alcoholism is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has designated April as Alcohol Awareness Month to bring attention to the disease and let people know help is available and recovery is possible.
According to the NCADD, alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that is
fatal if left unchecked. Up to 40 percent of all hospital beds in the U.S. (except
for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to
treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption.
Heavy drinking can have a profound effect on older adults, whose bodies don’t
metabolize alcohol as efficiently as they may have decades ago. Their increased
sensitivity to alcohol may lead to falls and fractures, motor vehicle and other
accidents, forgetfulness and confusion.
Excessive alcohol consumption also increases their risk for breast, liver and
other cancers; immune system disorders and brain damage. It can worsen health
conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, stroke, neuropathy and cardiovascular
disease and lead to emotional instability and other mental health problems such
The good news is that help and treatment are available. People do recover and
lead happy and successful lives.
To find out more, visit the NCADD website; take their online screening test to
see if you or your loved one may have a problem with alcohol or another addiction:
Stress Awareness Month
Sometimes stress is caused by a major event such as job loss or the death of
a loved one. Sometimes it’s little everyday things that add up – problems with
money, work, health, family and more.
Stress can be useful when it motivates us to take the proper course of action, to
perform better or to prevent tragedy. But chronic stress can be harmful to our health.
Sponsored by the Health Resource Network, a nonprofit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress as well as successful coping strategies.
Things you can do every day to alleviate stress include walking, practicing yoga, meditation, or tai chi; listening to relaxing music or nature sounds, drinking green tea, taking a 20-minute power nap, stroking a pet, or chatting with an uplifting friend, family member or co-worker.
Always talk to your doctor if your stress becomes overwhelming or chronic.
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