Celebrate National Public Health Week! April 6-12, 2009

Consider the Consequences: Take the (Free & Confidential) Alcohol Screening Test

For Immediate Release:
April 8, 2009

Media Contact:
Vermont Department of Health

BURLINGTON – Friends, family, employers, health care and law enforcement professionals are often the first to let someone know they have a problem with alcohol abuse — before they recognize it themselves. During National Public Health Week, the Vermont Department of Health is encouraging every adult Vermonter to call toll-free 1-800-639-6095 or log on anytime to www.alcoholscreening.org for a quick and confidential alcohol use screening.

“The consequences of excessive drinking have a ripple effect far beyond the individual,” said Barbara Cimaglio, deputy commissioner for Alcohol & Drug Abuse programs for the Vermont Department of Health. “We are all seeing the influence of adults who do not drink responsibly passed down from parent to child. Alcohol abuse contributes to social ills and health care costs associated with a wide range of injuries and diseases. It’s an alarming trend.”

Many Vermonters know first-hand what it is like to live in a home or have a relationship with someone who has a drinking problem. Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the state and in the nation.

“Alcohol abuse still seems to be viewed as a societal norm and perceptions need to change,” Cimaglio said. “We’ve succeeded in cutting the smoking rate in half among young people, and adults continue to make the healthy decision not to smoke. Alcohol consumption rates need to decline in the same way. People need to understand how damaging it can be, not only to themselves, but to the next generation of Vermonters as well.”

A comprehensive public health approach that includes prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery and involves whole communities can be effective in bringing alcohol consumption rates down. Participating in alcohol screening, Cimaglio said, is a good place to start.

If you choose to drink alcohol, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, do not have more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Drink slowly – no more than one drink per hour, and have food and nonalcoholic beverages.

Adults should be sure that drinks don’t exceed the standard size:

Some people who should not drink at all:

More information about prevention and treatment resources, and local Alcohol Awareness Month activities being held throughout Vermont, can be found at the Vermont Department of Health's website at http://healthvermont.gov/adap/adap.aspx.

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For National Public Health Week, the American Public Health Association has launched a viral video - This is What Public Health Does. What Are You Doing? about the important role public health plays in every aspect of our daily lives.

The video is featured on a new web site as the start to a longer campaign — The Healthiest Nation in 1 Generation: http://www.nphw.org/nphw09/default.htm.

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