April, Alcohol Awareness Month

April 2, 2014

The conundrum of Alcohol was captured succinctly in a recent statement by neuroscientist Aaron White of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):

Alcohol is an interesting drug because the distance between the dose that causes a small buzz and the dose that can kill you is not very big… The risk of cancer goes up, the risk of injuries goes up, and of course, blackouts and overdose deaths go up” (quoted at health.usnews.com).

White’s observation explains why alcohol attracts so much research, legislation, and news. Just recently in the news, a researcher at Indiana University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences found possible deficits in the brain networks of “alcohol-dependent women” as compared to those of their non-dependent counterparts. Over the last month, we learned that there may be more alcohol-related fatalities than the numbers account for, and that many Starbucks outlets will soon be serving alcohol, along with designer mac ‘n cheese, after 4 p.m. As we grapple with the complexity of alcohol, people are surveyed and numbers are crunched – nearly a quarter of people in a survey at sciencedaily.com reported having 5 or more drinks in a sitting within the last month. The report opened by saying that heavy consumption of alcohol costs the country an estimated $223.5 billion. So it is fitting that a whole month be devoted to sharing facts and figures about alcohol, its impact on our chemistry, our lifestyles, our wallets, and our lives.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Throughout the month we will share perspectives on alcohol from the voices of AAC, who witness the workings of alcohol every day in helping people get a handle on this popular but potent substance.

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