Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, April 14
Alcohol Awareness Month is held every April to help increase public awareness, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. This year’s theme is “For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction.”
Up to 75 per cent of domestic abuse is committed under the influence of alcohol. Drinking and driving causes 16,000 deaths per year and thousands more injuries. Up to 75 per cent of violent and acquisitive crimes are committed by people under the influence of alcohol.
Dr Kunal Kala, managing director, Mind Plus Retreat, said, “April is dedicated to raising public awareness and understanding, reducing negative connotations and encouraging communities to focus on alcoholism as well as issues related to alcohol abuse and addiction.”
He added, “Alcoholism places an enormous emotional, physical and financial burden on family members and children of the person who is addicted to alcohol. Emotional and physical abuse often occurs as a result of parents or spouses losing control with family members because of alcohol.”
Another city based psychiatrist said alcohol had a long lasting effect on the body if consumed daily. “It should be taken occasionally as a luxury and should not be adopted as a habit,” he said.
Understand how alcohol affects the body
Understanding the impact of alcohol on an individual is central to taking the first steps towards understanding their condition and its severity. Initially, people who drink may feel upbeat and excited. Soon, alcohol affects inhibitions, judgment and can lead to reckless decisions. As more alcohol is consumed, reaction time suffers and behaviour becomes poorly controlled and sometimes even aggressive possibly leading to fights and other types of violence. Continued drinking causes slurred speech and loss of balance typically associated with a person being drunk. At higher levels, alcohol causes the drinker to become sleepy. It can also cause blackouts or periods of amnesia where a person may have been conscious, but does not remember what happened while he or she was intoxicated. In extreme cases, drinkers face the danger of life-threatening alcohol poisoning due to the suppression of vital life functions.
Reduce drinking to lower risk for problems
Safe alcohol limits are in the region of 15-20 units per week depending on the gender. For those who find that their drinking patterns are above the recommended limits, cutting back or quitting can have significant health benefits. People who reduce their drinking decrease their risks for injuries, liver & heart disease, depression, stroke, sexually transmitted diseases, and several types of cancers.
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