This can be a tough question with murky answers. But getting a clear-cut picture of what research reveals and how it affects your health is only a few questions away. National Alcohol Screening Day, April 7, is designed to tackle this question head on, letting each of us know exactly where to draw the line. For most adults, moderate alcohol use causes few, if any, problems. But for some, any alcohol use may lead to significant health problems. Alco-hol affects your body differently at different times in your life. To protect yourself, it is important to know the facts about alcohol and pay attention to how, when, and why you drink.
- Women overall drink less than men, but are more likely to experience adverse consequences including damage to the heart muscle, liver, and brain, trauma resulting from auto crashes, interpersonal violence, and death.
-As people grow older, their bodies are less able to handle alcohol safely. Alco-hol-related problems, including interactions with prescription and over-the counter drugs, account for most of the known substance-related prob- lems experienced by older adults.
- Young persons reporting first use of alcohol before age 15 were more than five times as likely to have past alcohol dependence or abuse compared with persons who first used alcohol at age 21 or older.
-Alcohol can damage a fetus at any stage of pregnancy. Damage can occur in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, even before a woman knows that she is pregnant. There-fore, no amount of alcohol consumption can be considered safe during pregnancy.
- Moderate alcohol use is defined as up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people. (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.)
To help determine how alcohol affects your health, attend one of the free, anonymous screenings held at Lakeview Hospital on Na-tional Alcohol Screening Day, April 7, 2005. This one-day education and screening event is de-signed to raise awareness on alcohol and health, help individuals evaluate their alcohol use, and provide referrals to local treatment and support resources for those who need further evaluation.
The free screening will be held at Lakeview Hospital, 630 East Medical Drive, Bountiful, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. As part of the free screening, attendees will complete a brief written screening tool assessing their alcohol use and have the opportunity to talk privately with a health professional to discuss the next steps.
The screening is 100 percent confidential. For questions or more information, please call Tiffany Burnett at 299-5327.