April is Alcohol Awareness Month. In honor of this cause, Jessica Miller of Bluegrass Prevention Center has compiled a list of alcohol related information and facts to share - a fact for each day of the month of April.
Alcohol Awareness Month
1: What does it mean to binge drink? The definition of “binge drinking” varies by gender. For women, 4 or more drinks during a single sitting constitutes a binge drink. For men, 5 or more drinks during a single sitting is a binge drink. [i]
2: Alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths worldwide per year. Of those deaths 32.0% are from unintentional injuries, and 13.7% are from intentional injuries. [ii]
3: How much is “a drink” of alcohol? A standard drink is 12 grams of pure ethanol, which equals:
* 12 ounces of beer or wine cooler
* 8 ounces of malt liquor
* 5 ounces of wine
* 1 ½ ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (whiskey, etc)
4: Alcoholism affects more people than diabetes, lung cancer, breast cancer, or heart attacks, and as many people as high blood pressure.[iii]
5: Underage drinking cost Kentucky citizens $688.3 in 2001. [iv]
6: Fewer than 25% of alcoholics ever receive treatment. [v]
7: Underage alcohol use is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined. More than 1,700 college students in the U.S are killed each year- about 4.65 a day- as a result of alcohol related injuries. [vi]
8: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are the leading preventable cause of birth defects in the U.S., affecting as many as 40,000 babies per year and costing upwards of $5.4 billion per year.[vii]
9: Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the U.S. are being used to treat health conditions that are alcohol related.[viii]
10: An estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian.[ix]
11: There are over 1.4 million arrests for DWI each year (less than 1% of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving) and 780,000 convictions.[x]
12: The adolescent brain is immature and continues to develop until about age 24. Premature exposure to alcohol can damage areas of the brain responsible for memory, coordination and decision-making.
13: The alcoholic-beverage industry relies on heavy and addicted drinking for the largest share of its profits. Hazardous drinking (5 or more drinks at one sitting) accounts for more than half of the alcohol industry’s $155 billion market, and more than 75% of the beer industry’s market.[xi]
14: About 100,000 American college students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape every year.[xii]
15: Persons reporting first use of alcohol before age 15 are more than five times as likely to report past-year alcohol dependence or abuse than persons who first used alcohol at age 21 or older (16 percent compared with 3 percent).[xiii]
16: It takes 2 to 3 hours for a single drink to leave the body. Nothing can speed up the metabolic process that rids the body of alcohol.[xiv]
17: Only 31% of parents of 15-16 years old believe their child had a drink in the past year, compared to the 60% of teens in that age group who reported drinking.[xv]
18: According to the International Institute for Alcohol Awareness, underage drinkers consumed 15.7% of all alcohol sold in Kentucky in 2007.
19: In 2010, 26.1% of 10th graders in Kentucky reported drinking alcohol in the 30-day period prior to the survey.[xvi]
20: Alcohol use is involved in up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation and about 1 in 5 reported boating fatalities. Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat. [xvii]
21: Two-thirds of victims who suffered violence by an intimate (a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been a factor.[xviii]
22: Nearly $240 million dollars was spent yesterday at bars, restaurants and liquor stores for alcoholic drinks.[xix]
23: Alcohol is no joke! 40% of homicides committed each year are alcohol related.[xx]
24: You may be surprised by the results of your own alcohol assessment. Follow this link to see the truth about your habits for yourself: http://www.alcoholscreening.org/Home.aspx
25: It is estimated that teenage girls who binge drink are up to 63% more likely to become teen mothers.[xxi]
26: The average age at which young people ages 12 to 17 begin to drink is 13 years old. [xxii]
27: Talk to the young people in your life about the very real dangers of alcohol poisoning. Follow this link for the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning. BE AWARE- SAVE A LIFE. http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/otheralcoholinformation/factsaboutalcoholpoisoning.aspx#CriticalSigns
28: Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you suspect your teen has an alcohol problem get them the help they need. Here is a list of the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse: http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/teens_alcohol_and_other_drugs
29: In the workplace, 47% of industrial injuries and 40% of industrial fatalities can be linked to alcohol consumption.[xxiii]
30: Alcohol is the most commonly used and widely abused psychoactive drug in the world.[xxiv]
[iii] Alcohol Straight Facts: Serious Dangers Pamphlet.
[v] National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Strategic Plan 2001-2005.
[vi] Grunbaum, J.A.; Kann, L.; Kinchen, S.A.; et al. Youth risk behavior surveillance: United States, 2001.
[vii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) FASD Center for Excellence, 2003
[viii] National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. website
[ix] National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. website
[x] National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. website
[xiv] Underage Drinking Myths vs. Facts brochure.
[xviii] Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice, 2006.
[xix] Uppers, Downers, All-Arounders. Pg. 179.