April marks alcohol awareness month
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Deciding to drink is a personal decision, one that we all have to face at some point in our life. The decisions we make about alcohol are likely based on personal experience or what we think we know about alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption, also known as binge drinking, can lead to significant problems, affecting not only yourself but those around you. Individuals often use alcohol for a variety of reasons to include coping with issues such as stress, loneliness, boredom, anger, and sadness.
Using alcohol as a coping tool can lead to heavy alcohol consumption. Alcohol misuse has many harmful effects, which can be both short and long term. Most of these effects are well known to military populations through different briefings over the years. These harmful effects include things from alcohol poisoning, increased risky behaviors, such as injuries, to serious health complications and loss of employment. According to 2014 data from the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 80,000 US deaths a year are linked to excessive alcohol use.
While it is your choice to drink alcohol, below are some helpful tips to help reduce or avoid harmful effects:
· Standard drink=12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor (at 80 proof). Be aware of mixed drinks, as many contain several shots instead of one shot.
· Standard drinks raise an individual's BAC .02 for the average male, and .03 for the average female.
· It takes 2 hours to eliminate one standard drink from your body. If you had 5 drinks over the course of the 2 hours, you still need 8 hours to be free of alcohol. It has the potential to still be in system when leaving parties or even going to work the next day. The 2 hours per drink applies to both males and females.
· Binge drinking is more than 2 to 3 drinks in a setting for women and more than 3 to 4 drinks in a setting for men
· Be aware of state or country laws on alcohol - open container, DUI limit, and public intoxication. Japan DUI rate is a .03 and on base is a .08
Below are some signs that you or someone you know may have problematic substance use:
· Need a drink in order to have fun or relax
· Only involved in activities where drinking occurs
· Recurrent problems where alcohol use is involved i.e. late to work, fights, blackouts
· Regularly drinking more than intended or binge drinking frequently
· Having family members or friends express concern about drinking
· Lying about your drinking
If you have any questions, please contact the ADAPT clinic at DSN 225-3566.