Oklahoma City Indian Clinic provides information about the dangers of excessive alcohol use.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, wants to raise awareness of the risks associated with excessive alcohol use.
Alcohol Awareness Month is observed every April to educate the public about the dangers of excessive drinking. Excessive alcohol use can lead to a variety of short-term and long-term health risks, including injuries, violence, ulcers, weakened immune system, depression and cancer.
In the United States, a standard drink contains 1.2 tablespoons of pure alcohol. This means 12-ounces of beer, five-ounces wine and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits all count for one standard drink. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men.
“It’s recommended for adults of legal drinking age to choose not to drink, or to have one drink or less in a day for women and two drinks or less in a day for men,” said Janice Hixson, MD, OKCIC’s Chief Medical Officer. “Some people should not have alcohol at all. This includes people who are under 21, pregnant, driving or planning to drive, taking medication that can interact with alcohol or recovering from alcoholism.”
The most common and deadly form of excessive alcohol use is binge drinking, which is defined as consuming four or more drinks in a single occasion for women and five or more drinks in a single occasion for men. Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, miscarriage and violence. Those who binge drink may exhibit risk-taking behaviors, including impaired driving, having unprotected sex or sex with multple partners.
Excessive drinking significantly increases risk factors for chronic disease and other serious health problems.
“Excessive alcohol use can lead to alcohol use disorder and problems with learning, memory and mental health,” Hixson said. “Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease and cancer are all linked to excessive alcohol use.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, help is available. You can reach the confidential SAMHSA National Helpline at 800-662-HELP and find treatment services near you at samhsa.gov/treatment. OKCIC patients can also talk to their medical care team at (405) 948-4900.
Excessive alcohol use can have devastating effects on your health, but help is available.
About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 21,000 patients from over 220 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit www.okcic.com.