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March 22, 2013

News

Help available for drinking problems

If drinking has caused problems in relationships, at work, at home, financially, physically, or legally, it’s time to get “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”

Employers need to know that alcohol-related problems and alcoholism cost billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, accidents, and poor job performance.

Among the tragic reasons, besides the law, to take alcohol-related problems and alcoholism seriously: highway death, drowning, suicide, violent injury, disrupted families, and unwanted pregnancy, said Gail R. Zuege, Fort McCoy Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) Drug Test technician.

Despite the legal drinking age of 21, high school students still consume 31 million gallons of wine coolers and 102 million gallons of beer each year.

Drinking is associated with the leading causes of death among young people, including car crashes, murder, and suicide.

Alcohol is the deadliest drug for America’s teenagers; a 16-year old is more likely to die from an alcohol-related problem than any other cause.

Parents also need to “think again,” if they believe their child is drinking just to “have a good time,” Zuege said.

Many kids drink alone because they are bored or depressed. This puts them at a greater risk for developing alcoholism.

Zuege said parents can tell their children to remember that, “You don’t have drink if you don’t want to. Who says party animals have to set the agenda?”

Many people are not aware what counts as a standard drink and do not realize how many standard drinks are in the containers in which these drinks are sold.

Some examples are:
For beer, the approximate number of standard drinks in:
• 12 ounces = 1; 16 ounces = 1.3; 22 ounces = 2; and 40 ounces = 3.3

For malt liquor, the approximate number of standard drinks in:
• 12 ounces = 1.5; 16 ounces = 2; 22 ounces = 2.5; and 40 ounces = 4.5;

For table wine, the approximate number of standard drinks in:
• a standard 750-ml (25-ounce) bottle = 5.

For 80-proof spirits, or “hard liquor,” the approximate number of standard drinks in:
• a mixed drink = 1 or more; a pint (16 ounces) = 11; a fifth (25 ounces) = 17; and 1.75 liters (59 ounces) = 39.

(See related story.)

(Information in this story is from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.)

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