Alcohol affects millions of people in the United States. There are images of people drinking on television, in magazines, and on billboards. In fact, drinking alcohol has become so ‘normal’ that many people may have a drinking problem and not even realize it. Though they may be experiencing some of the physical effects that alcohol can have on the body, they may attribute them to something else. Officials in Canada have reported having the same problem, in which the Ontario Medical Association is paying close attention.
Do You Have a Problem With Alcohol
There are many signs that indicate one could have an alcohol problem. These include:
- Insomnia: Many individuals who drink may experience sleeping problems. This is because alcohol disrupts the duration and sequence of sleep states. Alcohol will also alter the time it takes to fall asleep as well as the total sleep time. Some people may believe that having a drink will help them fall asleep at night, when in fact it could end up doing the opposite.
- Depression: Many people drink as a way of self-medication when they feel sad or upset. While alcohol may seem to relieve these feelings, it is only temporary. Alcohol can actually make depression worse because it slows down the body and mind, as it is a depressant.
- Drinking More Than Recommended: In Canada, the weekly maximum for women is 10 standard drinks and 15 standard drinks for men. Those who drink more than this amount could be considered to have a drinking problem. In the United States the binge drinking is constituted as having 4 drinks for a woman, and 5 for a man in a small period of time. Using alcohol to excess and over the limitations above can indicate there is an issue.
- Legal Problems: When individuals begin to experience legal issues as a result of alcohol, it is a red flag that there is a problem. These issues usually include DUIs or arrests for behaviors such as public drunkenness. When individuals allow themselves to get into these situations, it’s most likely because alcohol takes priority in their life and they don’t have many considerations otherwise.
- Health Problems: All too often, people who drink develop health problems, but do not connect them to the alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can affect the body’s immune system for up to 24 hours after consuming it. This leaves the body more susceptible to catching illnesses or developing diseases. There are also the immediate dangers such as blackouts. Blackouts can be extremely dangers because they can happen while driving, which could have deadly results.
Stopping Alcohol Abuse With Prevention
The DARE programs that are being used in the schools and other drug prevention tools [like those used through Narconon drug education] are solutions to solving this problem.
Unfortunately, sometimes kids don’t want to hear that they can’t do something and this seems to be the downfall of some programs. As one solution, schools using programs that educate kids about using alcohol in moderation and focus on the dangers of what can happen when someone drinks too much.
Above and beyond this, talking to your kids about the dangers of alcohol is extremely important. Making prevention a part of not only school but extra-curricular activities as well as in the home puts a strong and standardized message there that can help to prevent a drinking problem before it begins.