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  April is National Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Why Alcohol Misuse is Dangerous
  • How Can I Know If I Have an Alcohol Problem?
  • Depression: A Common but Often Misunderstood Illness
  • Dr. Oz Video: Simple Tips for Healthy Eating: Portion Control
  • Source4Women: Organization Plain and Simple: Practical Tips for Home and Work
  • We Dare You: Spend More Time with Your Family
  • Monthly Recipe
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Why Alcohol Misuse Is Dangerous

 

Drinking alcohol in excess is a risky behavior that can have lasting effects on your health.

 

Every 2 minutes someone dies because of alcohol. In fact, excessive drinking is the third-leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the U.S. Drinking alcohol is linked to more than 60 health issues.


When you drink in excess, the effects of alcohol aren't limited to just you. Your drinking can also hurt someone else. Half of all alcohol-related deaths are due to unintentional injuries, such as from car accidents, for example.

 

Excessive drinking defined

Heavy drinking and binge drinking fall under the category of "excessive drinking."


Heavy drinking:

  • More than one drink per day on average for women.
  • More than two drinks each day on average for men.


Binge drinking:

  • More than four drinks during one time (generally in a two-hour period) for women.
  • More than five drinks during one occasion for men.


One drink is considered:

  • 12 oz. of beer or a wine cooler
  • 5 oz. of wine
  • 1.5 oz. of distilled liquor (for example, vodka, rum or whiskey)

 

A personal problem: how alcohol misuse hurts you

When you drink alcohol, it's quickly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine and into the bloodstream. The liver can only break down (metabolize) a small amount of alcohol at a time. The rest of the alcohol lingers in the bloodstream and causes you to "feel drunk." This harms the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), which is dangerous because the central nervous system controls all functions of the body. The more alcohol you drink at once, the greater the damage.


The immediate effects of alcohol may include:

  • Impaired judgment and inability to measure risks
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Slower reaction time and reflexes
  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Distorted vision
  • Lapses in memory

 

Drinking too much alcohol over time can cause a slew of lasting health problems, such as:

  • Chronic liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Medical problems in unborn babies if any amount of alcohol is consumed during pregnancy
  • Alcohol poisoning, which can be deadly. This can happen when you drink too much at once


Alcohol misuse can also impact other areas of your life. It's linked with:

  • Domestic abuse and other violent behaviors
  • Relationship issues
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Financial problems
  • Being unproductive at work
  • Accidents


A public health problem: how alcohol misuse hurts others

Excessive alcohol use hurts us all. It reaches into every aspect of society and has an economic impact as well. Look at the facts:

  • One-fifth to one half of all car accident deaths are due to alcohol.
  • Of people admitted to hospitals (not counting those in maternity or intensive care units), 25 percent to 40 percent are being treated for alcohol-related issues.
  • Alcohol problems cost the U.S. about 185 billion dollars per year. Health care expenses for alcohol-related illness and injury cost 22.5 billion dollars each year.
  • Underage drinking is a huge public health problem:
    - Alcohol is a leading cause of death and injury in teens from car accidents, fires, drownings, homicides and suicides.
    - When teens drink, nine out of 10 times they are binge drinking.
    - One in four teens admits to binge drinking.
    - Three in 10 teens admit to riding in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.

 

Be responsible

If you are 21 years of age or older and choose to drink, do so in moderation. Women should only have one drink per day, and men should limit alcohol to two drinks each day. It is not safe to drink any amount of alcohol during pregnancy.

 

Never drink alcohol before or while driving, or when participating in any other activities that require skill or concentration.

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How can I know if I have an alcohol problem?

 

Ask yourself the following questions. You may want to print this article so you can check off any symptoms you find in yourself.

 

 

 

In the past year, have you had times when:  
You ended up drinking more or longer than you intended? Y or N
More than once, you wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but could not? Y or N
More than once, you have been in situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area or having unsafe sex)? Y or N
You had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before? Y or N
You continued to drink even though it made you feel depressed or anxious or added to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout? Y or N
You spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over other after-effects? Y or N
You continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends? Y or N
You found that drinking or being sick from drinking-often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles or school problems? Y or N
You have given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure in order to drink? Y or N
More than once, you have been arrested, been held at a police station or had other legal problems because of your drinking? Y or N
You found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there? Y or N

 

Note: These questions were taken from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) website and are based on symptoms used by the American Psychiatric Association to diagnose alcohol use disorders.

 

If you have answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may have a problem with alcohol. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent is your need for help. Speak with your doctor to talk about your concerns. He or she may be able to tell whether you have an alcohol problem and provide recommendations for counseling, medications or support groups that might be right for you.

 

Recognizing symptoms, being honest about them and making a change is tough for many people. People with a drinking problem must decide for themselves when to quit. For many, that decision to quit comes only after an arrest, divorce or other tragic scenario.

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depression

Depression: A common but often misunderstood illness

 

Sometimes life can get you down. You expect to feel blue when life deals you a blow such as the death of a loved one or loss of a job, but over time your feelings should start to lift. If your symptoms are severe or you find that you just can't seem to snap out of it, you should suspect depression.

 

Depression is very common. It affects about one in 10 adults each year. For reasons that aren't understood, it affects women about twice as often as men. It most commonly starts in the late teens or early twenties, but it can strike anyone at any age. Even though depression is common, many people don't understand it. They don't recognize that it can cause physical symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, headache or back pain. They may be ashamed to admit to their feelings and may blame themselves for not being stronger, happier or feeling better. Don't let these false notions stand in the way of getting help. Depression is not your fault. It is an illness, and it can be treated. Treatment may relieve symptoms and help you enjoy life again.

 

How to recognize depression

Depression is more than just feeling blue. It's a persistent feeling of sadness (or irritability in some people) or lack of pleasure along with symptoms such as:

  • Sleeping less or more than usual
  • Feeling tired or sluggish
  • Feeling restless
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Losing or gaining weight without trying
  • Feeling that life is not worth living. This feeling should trigger an immediate and urgent call for help.
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Better Health with Dr. Oz: Simple Tips for Healthy Eating: Portion Control


Many of us eat until our plate is clean. So shrink your plate, and eat fewer calories. View this video for more information!

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Source4Women Online Seminar
Organization Plain and Simple:
Practical Tips for Home and Work


Audrey Thomas, Organized Audrey

April 8, 2014, 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT

 

Do you ever feel like you're drowning in clutter? Do you find yourself wishing your home or office were more organized? You are not alone! Most people admit they are often overwhelmed by the stacks of paper, piles of clutter, and long "to-do" lists in their homes and at the office. While most of us were taught general life skills, very few of us were taught organizational skills. Join us for this seminar and get simple, practical tips that may help you simplify your life by cutting the clutter and becoming more organized. You'll learn storing, filing and scheduling tips that you can start putting into practice today.


To register for an upcoming Source4Women seminar, visit www.source4women.com and click on "Online Seminars & Events." All seminars are recorded and archived for viewing after the live seminar date.

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we dare you

April Dare:
Spend More Time with Your Family


Take our dare. Spend more time with your family. Upload a video or picture of yourself with your family and you'll be entered for a chance to win a $400 Visa gift card.

 

To register for We Dare You, click here:
www.wedareyoutoshare.com

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April Healthy Recipe: Buttermilk Chicken and Cornflake Bake

Ingredients:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Cajun or blackening seasoning (no salt added)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup orange juice
1 14.5 ounce can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups cornflakes             


Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Place the chicken in a large pot. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil (about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the Cajun seasoning.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the orange juice, then the broth; bring to a boil. Add the chicken, peas, dill and half the parsley and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine the cornflakes and the remaining parsley. Sprinkle over the chicken mixture and bake 5 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 258
Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 68mg
Sodium: 353mg
Carbohydrates: 20g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Protein: 29g

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