Press Release: Think Before You Drink
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via Wisconsin Department of Health Services
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) urges all state residents to take time to self-examine their drinking habits. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a national observance to increase understanding of alcohol use problems, treatment, and recovery.
“Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in Wisconsin,” said DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades. “This is a good time to take a minute and think about the effect alcohol has on your life – on your relationships, your job, and your health. If you decide it’s time to change, there is help available.”
One way to identify usage patterns that may reflect problems with alcohol is to take this quiz, known as the CAGE Questionnaire. There are four questions.
- Have you ever felt you could cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning (“eye-opener”) to steady nerves or get rid of a hangover?
Individuals who answer yes to one or more of these questions should assess the impact alcohol use is having on their life. Talk to a health professional if you have questions or concerns, or if you want to quit, and need help.
The federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans state if alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Individuals under the age of 21, and those who are or may be pregnant, should not drink at all. People using prescription medication or under the care of a physician should check with their doctor about any use of alcohol.
Excessive drinking is associated with increased risk for vehicle crashes, injuries, high blood pressure, stroke, suicide, and some types of cancer, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(link is external).
Support is available for those who want to stop drinking or reduce their use. Call 1-800-662-HELP or visit the DHS online healthy living resources library for more information.
Follow DHS on Twitter(link is external) during April Alcohol Awareness Month for more information on the health and social problems caused by drinking too much.