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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Release Date: March 29, 2019
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, the month for raising awareness about the serious problem and harmful effects of alcohol abuse.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month
"Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow"

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, the month for raising awareness about the serious problem and harmful effects of alcohol abuse. The Sussex County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health and Office of Public Health Nursing encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about alcohol use and alcohol-related problems.

Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate drinking -- up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. A standard drink is:

  • 12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  • 5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
  • 1.5-ounces of distilled spirits or liquor (40% alcohol content)

Binge drinking and other excess alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of harmful health conditions (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC). These short-term health risks include:

  • Injuries -- motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, burns
  • Violence -- homicide, suicide, sexual assault, partner violence
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women

Excessive alcohol use over time can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious health problems (CDC). The long-term health risks include:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems
  • Cancer -- breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon
  • Learning and memory problems -- dementia and poor school performance
  • Mental health problems -- depression and anxiety
  • Social problems, family problems, lost productivity
  • Alcohol dependence or alcoholism

Many people struggle with an active alcohol use disorder. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) found that more than 17 million American adults suffer from an alcohol use disorder. In 2017, 29% of substance abuse treatment admissions in Sussex County were related to alcohol (NJ Department of Health, NJDOH).

You can improve your health by cutting back drinking or quitting drinking. Here are some strategies:

  • Limit your drinking to moderate drinking
  • Keep track of how much you drink
  • Don't drink when you are upset
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home
  • Make a list of reasons not to drink

The Sussex County Department of Health and Human Services, Sussex County Municipal Alliances and the Board of Chosen Freeholders join the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) in acknowledging the importance of alcohol awareness. It is proclaimed that April 2019 is Alcohol Awareness Month and April 12, 2019 is "Wear Purple Day" in Sussex County. On this day, please join us in wearing purple. Purple was chosen by the NCADD because it is a color similar to amethyst, which comes from the Greek, "without drunkenness." By wearing purple, we acknowledge that many lives are affected by alcohol use and we support the individuals who are impacted. Send your pictures and other purple ideas to nloizzi@sussex.nj.us.

The Sussex County Administrative Center
The Sussex County Administrative Center

For more information about alcohol awareness, alcohol use and the associated health effects, please visit these resources: