April is designated as Alcohol Awareness Month by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. At 1in4 Mental Health, we know that alcohol abuse and dependence can negatively affect the user, their family, and their friends. We also know that this disease can often be silent, with those living with addiction hiding their use, their depression, and other mental health issues. In the hopes of bringing help and support to those who need it, we have compiled some facts about the disease as well as how to find local and national resources.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, 88,000 deaths were caused by excessive alcohol use in America from 2006-2010.
- Mixing alcohol with caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull can increase potential problems. The Centers for Disease Control notes that people that drink alcohol mixed with energy drinks are three times more likely to binge drink.
- Women and men differ in the consequences of their drinking habits. For example, women are more likely to have cirrhosis or other liver damage due to drinking. Men, on the other hand, have a higher rate of deaths and hospitalizations caused by excessive alcohol use.
- Alcohol abuse can occur in anyone and at any age. Seniors can often have lifelong alcohol abuse issues that cause problems in their older years. According to the National Institute on Aging, long term alcohol abuse can lead to physical problems such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Further, seniors who abuse alcohol run the risk of complicating medical treatments or prescription medications.
Where to Get Help
If you or someone you care for has a problem with alcohol, there are many resources that are there to support you. Check out local resources for dependency disorders to find something close to you. Remember, you are not alone and it is never too late to ask for help.