Alcohol Awareness Month

Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, we encourage you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

According to MADD, here are the statistics in the recent year for Arizona:

  • Drunk driving fatalities (.08 BAC or higher): 219 representing 25.8% of all total traffic deaths, a 4.8% decrease from last year.
  • Alcohol related crash injuries (.01 BAC or higher): 3,480
  • Alcohol related crashes (.01 BAC or higher): 5,190

Arizona’s ignition interlock law requires convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock (not wait-out the interlock order) before obtaining unrestricted driving privileges. Passed in 2007, and the first of its kind, this legislation is one of the best measures in the country, and as a result drunk-driving deaths in the state have decreased by 45 percent.

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.

  • Keep track of how much you drink.
  • Choose a day each week when you will not drink
  • Don’t drink when you are upset.
  • Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  •  Make a list of reasons not to drink.

What health problems are associated with excessive alcohol use?

Excessive drinking both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, is associated with numerous health problems5, including—

  • Chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis (damage to liver cells); pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (the voice box), and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders.
  • Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries.
  • Violence, such as child maltreatment, homicide, and suicide.
  • Harm to a developing fetus if a woman drinks while pregnant, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.