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Dos and Don’ts of Drinking Safely | Drinking Problem Signs | Connection between Alcohol and Depression | What YOU Can Do for Alcohol Depression | Why might Alcohol Problems and Depression Occur Together | Warning signs of alcohol poisoning | How much do you spend on alcohol? | How many calories are in a drink? | Where Do I Go For Help?
• More than 1 in 4 men and 1 in 7 women are drinking more than is medically safe.
• 61% of Caldwell College Students drink less than once a month.40% of men who try to kill themselves have had a long-standing alcohol problem.
• 1,700 college students between the ages of 18-24 die each year from alcohol related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
• 599,000 students between 18-24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol.
• More than 696,000 students between 18-24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
• More than 97,000 students between 18-24 are victims of alcohol related sexual assault or date rape.
• In 2002, more than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 were the victims of alcohol -related sexual assault in the
• 26% of men who acknowledged committing sexual assault admitted that they were intoxicated at the time of the assault, and an additional 29% reported being mildly buzzed.
• In the same study, 21% of the college women who experienced sexual aggression on a date were intoxicated at the time of the assault, and an additional 32% reported being mildly buzzed.
• 78% of rape victims know their attacker.
• Almost 14 million adult Americans abuse alcohol. (Not including minors).
• 35% of violent victimizations involve the use of alcohol.
• About 20% of suicide victims are alcoholic.
• The beer industry spends $700 million per year on advertising. This is nearly 3 times the 1999 budget for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
• In those violent incidents recorded by the police in which alcohol was a factor, about 9% of the offenders and nearly 14% of the victims were under age 21.
• Do sip your drink slowly – don’t gulp it down.
• Do space your drinks with a non-alcoholic drink in between.
• Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Have something to eat first.
• Don’t drink every day. Have two or three alcohol-free days in the week.
• Do provide non-alcoholic drinks as well as alcohol on social occasions.
• Do ask your doctor if it is safe to drink with any medicine that you have been prescribed.
• Do keep to the target (amount of alcohol per week) you have set for yourself.
• Do check your drinking every few weeks with a drinking diary.
• You regularly use alcohol as a way of coping with feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety or depression.
• You regularly use alcohol to feel confident.
• You get hangovers regularly. • Your drinking affects your relationships.
• Your drinking makes you feel disgusted, angry or suicidal.
• Other people tell you that when you drink you become gloomy, embittered or aggressive.
• You need to drink more and more to feel good.
• You stop doing other things to spend more time drinking.
• You start to feel shaky and anxious the morning after a night of drinking.
• You drink to stop distressing feelings.
• You use alcohol to sleep.
• Your drinking becomes one of the most important things in life.
• You drink alone regularly.
• You need a drink in the morning to face the world.
• You have been arrested or charged with drinking related offences at least once.
• Drinking too much, too regularly can lead to depression.
• Drinking alcohol to relieve anxiety or depression worsens feelings of depression.
• Evidence shows that alcohol changes the chemistry of the brain itself, and this increases the risk of depression.
• Hangovers create a cycle of waking up feeling ill, anxious, jittery and guilty.
• Heavy drinking symptoms that mimic depression:
• Disturbed sleep
• Early morning waking
• Poor energy levels
• Poor appetite
• Up to 40% of people who drink heavily have symptoms that resemble a depressive illness.
• About 10% of people with a depressive illness also have symptoms of an alcohol problem.
• There is evidence that, although many heavy drinkers feel depressed when they are drinking, most will feel better within a few weeks of stopping.
• After a few weeks of being alcohol-free, you will probably feel fitter and less depressed.
• It may be useful to talk about your feelings, particularly if your depression seems linked to relationship problems, unemployment, divorce, bereavement or some other loss.
• Avoid places that will only promote destructive drinking tendencies.
• People with depression sometimes use alcohol as a form of self-medication.
• Tolerance to the effects of alcohol can lead to individuals needing it in larger quantities to get the desired effect.
• Alcohol in large quantities, whether taken to treat depression or not, produces a depressant effect on people’s mood.
• Person cannot be roused (unconscious).
• Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute).
• Irregular breather (10 seconds or more between breaths).
• Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, or paleness.
(Adapted from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
A few dollars here, another few there — have you ever kept track of how much you spend on a night out drinking? Use this Alcohol Cost Calculator to calculate the amount you’ve committed to quenching your thirst. It will give you a monthly total and a yearly total. Think about what you could buy with all the money you spent on drinks.
Alcohol supplies calories but few or no nutrients. When you drink alcohol, your body actually metabolizes alcohol as if it were a fat. So, your body will treat those alcohol calories in a can of beer or a shot of vodka like a couple of teaspoons of butter. Click on this link for the Alcohol Calorie Calculator to find the serving size and average calorie amount of your favorite drinks. You can then compute your calorie intake.
On Caldwell College’s Campus:
Counseling Office Ext. 3905/3305
Substance Awareness Office Ext. 3277
Online Source: www.nnjaa.org for Alcoholics Anonymous
Sr. Deborah Lynch, O.P., M.S.