April is Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States and it can cause several severe health issues. Excessive drinking leads to cardiovascular problems, liver disease, and psychiatric problems such as depression. It also damages emotional and mental stability, financial wellness, career, and friends/family. Fortunately, alcoholism is a treatable disease. Even for those with moderate alcohol use, cutting back on drinking can reduce health risks and improve your quality of life.
There is a difference between substance use and addiction. If you are experiencing any of the following signs, it may indicate that your alcohol use has reached a harmful level:
Loss of control: Drinking more than you meant to or drinking when you didn’t want to.
Neglecting other activities: Losing interest in hobbies you used to love and replacing these interests with drinking.
Risk taking: Putting yourself or others in bad situations, or jeopardizing your safety while drinking.
Relationship issues: Increasing conflict or arguments with loved ones. If family members and friends are expressing concern, they may see something that you don’t.
Quality of work: Not being able to get to work on time, noticing a lack of motivation and productivity, or missing deadlines.
As always, seek help from a mental health professional or other health care provider if you are experiencing mental or physical health concerns. There are an abundance of resources available to those with substance misuse, abuse, or addiction.