April is Alcohol Awareness Month and this month we will posts facts you may not know about alcohol. Did you know that up to 40% of hospital beds are filled in the United States (except those being used by maternity and intensive care) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption. You may have heard a glass of wine is good for you and it does help raise the HDL cholesterol, reduces blood clots, and help prevent artery damage caused by bad LDL cholesterol. However, that is in moderation of one glass (5 oz.) or less a day for women and 10 oz. or less a day for men. But non-alcohol wine, dark chocolate, grapes, peanut butter, blueberries and cranberries have the same source of Resveratrol that will do the same thing. Studies also have shown it does nothing to help health benefits for those under the age of 40 and can do more damage if you drink more that those amounts on other days. Over time excessive alcohol use can lead to numerous health conditions such as dementia, stroke, increased risk for cancer, liver disease to name a few.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and this month we will posts facts you may not know about alcohol. You may have heard someone say…I only had one drink. That may be true but not all drinks are the same and not all bartenders make the drinks the same. For example, a glass of wine (5 oz. size) can be equal to 1 to 2.75 standard drinks because of the alcohol content of the wine. A Long Island Ice Tea is usually 16 oz. and considered to be one drink but is equal to 6 standard drinks because of the alcohol content. Women’s bodies tend to process alcohol less efficiently than men. Therefore, a woman may reach a higher blood alcohol content (BAC) faster than men but men remain intoxicated longer. Of, course everyone is different and reacts differently to alcohol but on average it takes an hour to fully process a standard drink. So, one Long Island Ice Tea would take 6 hours to be out of the persons system. But drinking two of them within an hour could lead to alcohol poisoning.
Source: DDAP and NCADD.org
On April 7th, prevention specialists, Marissa Scullion and Ramona Cholak-Jenks, presented information on the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco at the Girl Scouts’ annual “Scout for a Cure” This event was taken place at the Washington Crown Center Mall. The event was meant to not only honor all cancer survivors, but to inform Girl Scout troops on how to prevent the disease by living healthy and active lifestyles.
When you think of alcohol we think of adults but children are affected by alcohol too, more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol. More than half adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking. These kids miss having their parent’s full attention, involvement in activities and may see domestic violence due to the parent’s alcohol addiction.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and this month we will posts facts you may not know about alcohol. Alcohol is the most commonly abused addictive substance in the United States. Approximately 17.6 million or one in every 12 adults suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use. Not to mention the violence, crashes and crimes associated with alcohol abuse.
So how can you tell if you have a gambling addiction? Here is a few questions from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA for you to ask yourself. If you answer yes to at least seven of these questions you may be a compulsive gambler and need to seek help for your gambling addiction.
- Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Did gambling affect your reputation?
- Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
- Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?
- Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
- Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Did you ever gamble longer that you had planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
If you have answered yes to seven or more of the questions in the self-test or are concerned that you may have a gambling addiction and would like to get help there are many ways to do that. For those that seek help roughly 65% show significant improvement, problem gambling can be overcome, there are counselors available to help you. Here is the Gambling Helpline: 1-877-565-2112, for meetings contact Gambling Anonymous 1-412-281-7484, and there are counselors in the area for a listing go to: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/addiction/pa/washington?sid=1519329424.9251_23043&spec=254 .
Wait they aren’t old enough to gambling is what you are thinking. You are correct is saying they aren’t old enough but that doesn’t stop gambling with youth. Youth who are around gambling mimic what they see and gambling has been around forever. Think about March, most associate March with March Maddness and the basketball bracket or how about Football Fantasy especially if they are into sports. Even those that aren’t into sports have gambled with video games, games of skill such as pool, bowling, etc. How about younger students that go to places playing games with tokens (now they have cards) to win tickets to trade in for a prize. Of course, what about birthday cards, Christmas and other holidays they are given a lottery ticket to scratch off. Can they claim the prize if they win… NO, they aren’t old enough. But they are scratching it off to see if they won and if they do win an adult will have to claim the prize.
Seniors and Gambling? Yes, Seniors can become addicted to gambling. Think about it… where do most seniors go as a group from senior centers, and the senior housing- they go to the casino or to play bingo. Where they get to see friends, and the casino shows them a good time – free drinks, incentives like food and extra points, etc. There is nothing wrong with gambling responsibly however, sometimes it can become a problem. They start spending money that they have in savings, money meant to buy groceries, pay rent and utilities, money that was for their medication. Yes, this happens! Look for warning signs – do they go alone? Are they spending a lot of time there? Are they skipping medications? Is there savings/money disappearing? Help is available if they need help.
Who is impacted by a gambling addiction? The gambler isn’t the only one impacted by the addiction, everyone around them is impacted also. Children are impacted by their parent’s/caregivers addiction, relationships suffer, and of course the person with the gambling addiction suffers too. There isn’t money to purchase food, pay the rent, spend time with their love ones, miss important events, loss of jobs, housing, assets such as retirement plans, savings, etc. Because the gambling addiction takes over their whole life. They are always looking to replace the money they lost, spending hours trying to re-win the money to even break even for the day, thinking the next big win is going to happen soon and it doesn’t happen.