Alcohol And Your Health
Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 95,000 deaths and 2.8 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 29 years. Of all alcohol-attributable deaths, more than 70% involved men and more than 80% involved adults aged 35 or older. Death rates due to excessive alcohol use varied across states, ranging from 21 per 100,000 population in New York and New Jersey to 53 per 100,000 population in New Mexico. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink.
To prevent excessive alcohol use, you can:
- Choose not to drink or to drink in moderation by limiting intakes to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed, according to the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americansexternal icon. Some people should not drink any alcohol, including if they are pregnant or might be pregnant, if they are under the legal age for drinking, if they have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications that can interact with alcohol, if they are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or if they are unable to control the amount they drink.
- Support effective community strategies to prevent excessive alcohol use, such as those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Forceexternal icon.
- Not serve or provide alcohol to anyone who should not be drinking, including people younger than 21 or those who have already consumed too much.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about your drinking behavior and request counseling if you drink too much.
On a separate note, it is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place.