Do you enjoy a drink now and then? Many of us do, often when socializing with friends and family. Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health status, and, of course, how much you drink.
For anyone who drinks, these sites offer valuable, research-based information. What do you think about taking a look at your drinking habits and how they may affect your health? Rethinking Drinking can help you get started.
The decision to change your drinking is up to you. It is normal to have mixed feelings and it can help to weigh the pros and cons. Use the interactive change worksheet to see if you are ready for to take the next step and strategies for cutting down.
Like any illness, ongoing or excessive use of alcohol and other drugs can make things hard for your health, relationships, family, or job. The good news is that these problems can be treated and recovery is possible. The Network180 Guide to Services lists agencies that may be able to help.
Adult heavy drinking is a major public health concern. According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Assessment in 2008, 18% of those who were surveyed between the ages of 18-64 admitted to binge drinking in the past month. Binge drinking is higher among men (20.8%) and in adults between the ages of 25-34. The assessment also found 22.7% of adults in a higher income tax bracket ($75,000/year) admitted to binge drinking in the past 30 days. Many people do not realize the long-term harm they are doing to their bodies when they engage in heavy drinking.
Short term, we know the impacts of heavy drinking can include drinking and driving, aggression, and risky sexual behavior. But long-term, it can lead to obesity, higher risk of certain cancers, and organ damage. Knowing these risks early and taking a proactive approach can help you stay healthy.
The Kent County Health Department is working in partnership with network180 to reduce adult heavy drinking. This campaign is designed to inform adults about the harmful effects and risky behaviors associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
The multi-year campaign will include billboards, advertisements, QR coding and social media messages to bring people to the website. Social media, education, environmental strategies, and community mobilization include:
This partnership between the Kent County Health Department and network180 is supported by a grant from the Behavioral Health and Departmental Disabilities Administration/Bureau of Substances Abuse & Addiction Services.
Although many people may use alcohol appropriately, alcohol misuse and abuse creates significant risks to the health and safety of all our community members, particularly our children. Alcohol misuse is increasingly recognized as a major factor in violence, crime, sexual promiscuity, teen pregnancy, personal injury, and premature death. Alcohol misuse results in great harm to many individuals and families, businesses, neighborhoods, and the greater community.
Alcohol related problems cost Americans billions of dollars per year with a substantial portion expended for health care (and multiple billions beyond health care). The citizens of our community have a right to live, work, and play in environments that are free from the risks, problems, and costs resulting from the misuse of alcohol.
It is important for leaders and members of the community to step forward to address the problems that alcohol misuse creates in our community. We need to work together to improve the quality of life for all members of our community and particularly our children.
The Community Standards for Alcohol Use are based on these key beliefs:
Adults have a legal right to make a personal choice to use alcohol or to abstain from it; if they choose to use alcohol, they must do so responsibly.
Heavy drinking and/or intoxication are not appropriate for anyone.
Heavy drinking is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as consuming alcohol in excess of one drink per day on average for women and greater than two drinks per day on average for men. They define binge drinking as drinking more than four drinks for men and three drinks for women during a single occasion. Binge drinking is sometimes described as “drinking to get drunk”.
Alcohol use by minors is illegal and must be actively discouraged.
People in high-risk categories should not consume alcohol. High-risk categories include:
Women trying to conceive, who are pregnant, or breast-feeding
Anyone driving any vehicle, including car, motorcycle, boat, snowmobile, allterrain vehicle, or bicycle
People who must be alert while working with machinery or dangerous equipment, are engaging in challenging physical activities, or when responsible for the pubic order or the safety of others.
Anyone using certain prescription or over-the-counter medications
Those who cannot limit their drinking to moderate levels, including recovering alcoholics, and people who have family members with alcohol problems
People with specific health problems for which their physician has advised them they should not use alcohol (e.g., peptic ulcers, poorly controlled diabetes, etc.)
People who have difficultly, when drinking, keeping their anger under control
People with mental health conditions that become worse with the use of alcohol
Together, we can build a safer environment for all members of our community including our children, youth, employees, college students, and families.
700 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Adoptions end 1 hour prior to closing.
Mark Hall, MD, MPH
Adam London, RS, MPA
Administrative Health Officer