Alcohol Awareness Month October Chad Asplund, MD, FACSM Medical Director, Student Health Georgia Regents University

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1 Alcohol Awareness Month October 2013 Chad Asplund, MD, FACSM Medical Director, Student Health Georgia Regents University

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3 Alcohol Statistics According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2005): Alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug by youth in the United States. More than 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth is consumed through binge drinking.

4 Why are we telling you this? Alcohol, the most commonly used addictive substance, can cause severe harm to those who use this drug, as well as those who are in the drinker s environment. College students between 18 and 22 years of age, in comparison to same-age non-college peers, report higher levels of episodic drinking. -According to O Malley & Johnston; 2002; and Wechsler, Dowdall, Davenport, & Castillo; 1995 (as cited in Orchowski & Barnett, 2012)

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6 How does alcohol affect your body? Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This means that alcohol lowers your brain s ability to control behaviors and bodily functions. Alcohol causes you to feel less inhibited in your actions. Some symptoms of alcohol use include slurred speech, sluggish walking, blurred vision, and impairment to make rational decisions (in comparison to your sober state of mind).

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8 Standard measures of alcohol One drink is defined as any drink that contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. This includes: 12-ounces of regular beer or wine cooler 8-ounces of malt liquor (similar to beer, but with a higher alcohol concentration) 5-ounces of wine 1.5-ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor such as gin, rum, vodka or whiskey. A fifth (or 750 ml) of hard liquor (40% alcohol) is equal to 17 standard drinks.

9 Standard Drink Measurements One drink= 12-ounces of beer 5-ounces of wine (one glass)/1 wine cooler 1 shot or mixed drink

10 What is binge drinking? Binge drinking occurs when one drinks in excess to raise blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to above 0.08% grams percent or above. For men: Binge drinking is defined as 5 or more drinks during a single occasion (such as a party or social event) For women Binge drinking is define as 4 or more drinks during a single occasion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011)

11 Binge-drinking is a serious concern Binge drinking is a nationwide problem More than 38 million adults binge drink in the United States, and the largest number of drinks per binge is 8, on average Binge drinking can lead to numerous risky behavior, such as physical and sexual violence towards others, sexually transmitted diseases, increased likelihood of developing certain cancers and an increased chance of becoming addicted to other substances

12 Myths about alcohol consumption Myth: I can drink and still be in control. Fact: Drinking impairs your judgment and ability to make rational decisions. Therefore, drinking may increase your likelihood to engage in risky behaviors such as criminal activity and unprotected sex. You may also be at a greater risk of being the victim of date rape while intoxicated.

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14 More Myths about alcohol consumption Myth: Drinking isn t too dangerous Fact: Statistics tell otherwise. One in three year-olds who are admitted to hospitals for serious injuries are intoxicated. Myth: I can quickly sober up when I want to Fact: The only thing that can sober you up is TIME. It takes about three hours for your body to eliminate the alcoholic content of two drinks (depending on weight). Drinking water or eating food will not sober you up quickly.

15 Even More Myths about alcohol consumption One of the biggest (and most dangerous) myths of all. Myth: I can manage to drive well after a few drinks Fact: Every drink you consume affects your mind and body and slows your reaction time. About half of all fatal car crashes among year-olds involved someone who had been drinking alcohol. Even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below 0.08%, you may still be impaired. If you are below 21 years of age, it is illegal to drink and you may lose your driver s license if caught drinking and driving.

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17 Long-term effects of alcohol abuse Alcohol abuse or dependence Social problems such as unemployment, relationship concerns, family problems, violent behavior towards others, and lost productivity Increased risk for cancer of the liver, throat, mouth, larynx, and esophagus Increased risk of psychiatric problems, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.)

18 Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages Combining caffeinated beverages with alcohol can be a deadly combination Since caffeine is a stimulant, you may not experience fatigue and will be unable to gauge your alcohol consumption Combining caffeinated alcoholic beverages with prescription medications may lead to severe side effects or death

19 Practicing responsible drinking Be mindful of how drinking affects yourself and others around you If you are unsure of your safety, such as when going to a social event, bring others you trust with you Remember, the legal age of alcohol consumption in the United States is 21 Drinking alcohol always carries risks. Be aware of how alcohol can affect your mind and body.

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21 What to do if you or a friend consumes too much alcohol? -Call Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Dial 911 If you are on campus, call University Police at (706) If you live in University Village, notify an administrator in the building. -Do not leave the individual alone. An individual with alcohol poisoning may vomit and choke if left unattended. -If you have consumed too much alcohol, contact a trusted friend or an individual to stay with you.

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23 Signs of alcohol poisoning Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or the person cannot be woken Vomiting Seizures Slow breathing Irregular breathing Low body heat (i.e. Hypothermia), bluish skin color or pale skin color Remember that a person s BAC levels will continue to rise even after the person has passed out. Do not allow the person to simply sleep it off. If you have concerns, call 911 immediately. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2007)

24 CAGE Alcohol Screening Instrument CAGE Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your drinking? Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? Eye opener: Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? Answering yes to two or more of the previous statements may warrant further examination into a possible alcohol abuse problem. Note: This instrument is for educational purposes. You should visit a licensed mental health professional if you believe you have a problem controlling the amount of alcohol you consume, and/or if alcohol is negatively affecting your life.

25 Alcohol and mental health screening tools The U-Lifeline Self-Evaluator is an online confidential tool which screens for a variety of mental disorders, as well as for alcohol and other drug dependency. Access U-Lifeline s confidential mental health screener The SMH online screening program provides an anonymous and quick screener for depression, alcohol, and eating disorders. This will provide you with information to decide whether professional consultation is necessary. Visit the Screening for Mental Health, Inc. Online Screening. From here click on Screening Locator to choose your state and university.

26 Where can I find help? For questions or concerns about alcohol use, or for referrals to mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities in the community, please contact the GRU Counseling Center: (706) Services at the GRU Counseling Center are kept private and confidential as defined by Georgia state law.

27 Questions??

28 References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011, October 28). Fact Sheets: Alcohol Use and Health. Retrieved from CDC.gov National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. Understanding Alcohol and Alcoholism. Retrieved from NCADD.org National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2007, July 11). Facts about Alcohol Poisoning. Retrieved from College Drinking Prevention.gov Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Drinking in America: Myths, Realities, and Prevention Policy. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Available at UDETC, PDF, Accessed February 20, Orchowski, L. M., & Barnett, N. P. (2012). Alcohol-related sexual consequences during the transition from high school to college. Addictive Behaviors, 37, O Malley, P., & Johnston, L. D. (2002). Epidemiology of alcohol and other drug use among American college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 14, Wechsler, H., Dowdall, G. W., Davenport, A., & Castillo, S. (1995) Correlates of college student binge drinking. American Journal of Public Health, 85,

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