By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: April 12, 2018
“Do not look back on happiness or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated out of it.”
– Henry Ward Beecher
Dear Red Hot Mamas,
We’ve all heard the adage “April showers bring May flowers” but that doesn’t seem to be the case this April in many parts of the US. In New Jersey where I work and reside, we’ve had record breaking cold and snow. So, I am looking forward to sunnier days ahead.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month.
It is estimated that 17.6 million Americans, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. And, more than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol. (1)
Alcohol abuse can affect all aspects of a person’s life and cause serious health problems and chronic diseases. Not to mention social problems as well. Alcoholism has little to do with what kind of alcohol one drinks or even how much one consumes. But, it does have a great deal to do with a person’s uncontrollable need to drink alcohol.
Many women are juggling careers, taking care of our families and elderly parents as well. This puts a lot of strain and stress on our lives. It’s an easy escape to grab a cocktail to relieve stress. However, we must be aware as women that there are differences in the way alcohol affects us compared to a man. Our bodies process alcohol differently than our male counterparts. We weigh less than men do; our bodies contain less water and more fatty tissue than a man’s body. Because fat retains alcohol while water dilutes it, a woman’s organs sustain greater exposure to the effects of alcohol.
In addition, women have lower levels of specific enzymes that break alcohol down in the stomach and liver. As a result, womenabsorb more alcohol into the bloodstream. Therefore, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will be higher in a woman than a man when drinking the same volume of the same drink. That’s why one drink for a woman is said to have twice the physical impact as one drink for a man.
If you have an alcohol problem, you need to seek professional help. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has been a valuable resource for millions of people struggling with alcoholism and addiction.
On the website, www.ncadd.org they have a 26 question test that will help you assess whether you or someone you know may have an alcohol problem. This organization also provides information and resources to individuals and their families.
In closing, remember that alcoholism can be destructive to your health and well-being. Identify your bad habits in relation to drinking. Do you intend to drink only one glass of wine, and then fall into the trap of drinking three? Recognize the effects excessive drinking and the consequences it may be having on your life. Avoid excessive drinking – have a glass of wine, instead of a whole bottle. And, see your doctor if you think you may have an alcohol problem.
Good Health to You All,