(Photo Credit: U.S. Army graphic) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Alcohol Awareness Month is a public health program organized in April 1987, that has become a national movement to draw more attention to the causes and effects of alcoholism, as well as how to help families and communities deal with drinking problems.

Many immediate, impairment-related alcohol problems are more easily recognized — DUIs, along with social or family problems, for example. Long-term health problems — including liver failure, cancer and heart disease — may take many years to become apparent.

With this in mind, Alcohol Awareness Month provides an opportunity for Army substance abuse experts, public health advocates and leaders to increase their efforts to reach people who may not fully appreciate the dangers of unhealthy alcohol consumption.

For individuals, April is a month to take stock. How do your drinking habits compare to recommended low-risk guidelines?

For many people, alcohol consumption has gone up since the beginning of the pandemic — alcohol-related problems have risen as well. At the same time, the recommended low-risk guidelines have been going down, as scientists identify additional long-term health risks associated with levels of drinking previously considered low risk. Although, some people should not drink at all because of alcoholism or other health problems or risks, experts now recommend no more than two drinks on any day for men, and no more than one for women. More information about low-risk drinking may be found on the Rethinking Drinking homepage.

If you drink, April is a great time to give low-risk drinking a try. And if you try and find you aren’t able to keep a commitment to reducing alcohol consumption, that’s a pretty strong indicator that you may have a problem and should consider reaching out for help.

Don’t just ignore problem drinking — whether it is your own or that of a loved one, battle buddy or subordinate. Call 573.596.0522 to reach an expert at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital’s Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care. The Employee Assistance Program may be reached by calling 573.596.7199, or by email at guy.r.caley.civ@army.mil.