April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a good time to reflect on our drinking patterns and the role that alcohol plays in our lives. We would like to share the following information from niaaa.nih.gov:
Most adults in the United States who drink alcohol drink moderately and without complications. At the same time, alcohol-related problems are among the most significant public health issues in the country. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects about 15 million adults in the United States, and an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the nation.
How do you know if drinking alcohol has become a problem for you or a loved one? And where do you go for help if it has?
One way is to learn more about AUD. AUD is a medical diagnosis that ranges from moderate to severe, with the severity based on several criteria. But, briefly, alcohol becomes a problem when it impacts your life in a negative way. For example, is your personal or work life deteriorating because of your drinking? Have you had times when you drank more, or longer, than you intended? Are you drinking to feel better? Are you drinking to cope with stress or other problems? Do you feel anxious or irritable without a drink? For more information about the criteria for AUD, see https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/dsmfactsheet/dsmfact.htm