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The Risks of Drinking Too Much Alcohol

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The Risks of Drinking Too Much Alcohol

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to increase understanding about the dangers of alcohol-related issues and alcoholism.  

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age choose to not drink, or to drink in moderation.[1] Moderate drinking is defined as one drink or less in a day for women, and two drinks or less for men.[1] 

Excessive drinking is done outside of moderation; its most common form is binge drinking. The CDC defines binge drinking as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men during a single occasion.[1] Heavy drinking, as defined by the CDC, is eight or more drinks for women per week and 15 or more drinks for men.[1]  

Excessive alcohol use has both short and long-term health risks. These risks can be extremely harmful to yourself and to those around you.  

Some of the short-term health risks include[1]:  

  • Injuries (car crashes, falls, drownings, burns)  
  • Violence (homicide, suicide, sexual assault, intimate partner violence)  
  • Alcohol poisoning  
  • Risky sexual behaviors (these may result in unintended pregnancy or STDs) 
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders among pregnant women 

Long-term health risks include[1]:  

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems 
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon 
  • Weakening of the immune system 
  • Learning and memory problems (dementia, poor school performance) 
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety  
  • Social problems (loss of productivity, family problems, unemployment)  
  • Alcohol use disorders or alcohol dependence  

How AFSPA Can Help 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol consumption, AFSPA can help. FSBP members have access to AbleTo, a personalized web-based and video conferencing, 8-week support program. Through AbleTo, you work with the same therapist and coach each week to set reasonable goals aimed towards healthy lifestyle changes. 

If you would like more information or would like to enroll in this program, please call?866-287-1802?or visit AbleTo’s website at? This program is available to members in the 50 United States. 

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