Alcohol Awareness Month
Director, Harbor Symmetry Wellness
MSSA, LISW-S, LICDC, CEAP, SAP
This is a good time to reflect on three areas regarding alcohol.
First, if you are a caregiver of children it is your role to educate them about the potential risks of alcohol consumption. Secondly, if you are watching your weight then consuming too much alcohol can undermine your efforts. Thirdly, if you are noticing yourself developing a regular pattern of alcohol use it may be time to evaluate if changes are in order.
So, let’s start with the caregiving role. Research indicates children begin drinking from ages 12-17 and with each year the frequency/quantity of use tends to go up. What this tells us is we should educate our children about the risks of alcohol use long before age 12 and on an ongoing basis thereafter Some great web resources to check out are: www.hazelden.org, www.police.ci.burlington.vt.us; www.rja.com/NEWSLETTERS/Prevention.
In regard to watching your weight it is good to be aware of how many calories there are in a standard alcoholic beverage. Wine contains 85 calories per 4 oz, beer contains 150 calories per regular 12 oz. and liquor contains 122 calories per 1.5 oz. If you like margaritas they average a whopping 250-520 calories per drink. Perhaps drinking in moderation or selecting low calorie non-alcoholic drinks would be helpful, unless you want to add an extra hour to your cardio-vascular exercise routine.
If you are noticing a regular pattern of alcohol use you can make lifestyle changes and prevent problems from developing. You can have an assessment with a licensed chemical dependency counselor to determine the exact nature of your problem and to tailor a recovery program to meet your needs.
So, in conclusion, be aware, educate yourself and take advantage of the opportunity
to examine the role of alcohol in your life and your loved one’s lives this month. You will be happier and healthier for doing so, guaranteed!