Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Alcohol abuse higher locally compared to nation
Alcoholism affects six out of 10 adults in the greater Norwich area. Even more staggering, 10% of these adults also partake in binge drinking.
In a 2010 community health needs assessment survey for Backus Hospital conducted by a Holleran, an independent consulting firm, identified alcohol use as a health priority area.
In fact, a recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that excessive drinking in New London County is 8% higher than the national benchmark.
To help eastern Connecticut communities reduce rates of alcoholism, we must reinforce already existing programs such as “Be Aware: A Teen Program for Smart Choices” and develop a collaborative system of care including social service agencies, community education programs, not-for-profit organizations and others.
Most often people turn to drinking due to:
• A family history of alcohol abuse
• Peer pressure
• Struggles with mental illness
• Leading a stressful lifestyle.
Signs that your loved one may be dealing with alcohol abuse include:
• Neglecting responsibilities at work or home
• Shaking when they haven’t had a drink for a period of time
• Need alcohol to get through the day
• Not eating or eating poorly.
If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol abuse, contact your primary care physician. More information about alcohol abuse can be found at The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website at www.drugabuse.gov.
Alice Facente is a registered nurse and clinical educator at the The William W. Backus Hospital Education Department. This column should not replace advice or instruction from your personal physician. If you want to comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at www.backushospital.org/backus-blogs or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at firstname.lastname@example.org