By Laura Garcia, program specialist with Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)
Having more hours of sunshine is a wonderful thing, but all that extra time can lead to a lot more drinking. Let’s take a moment to focus on the effects of drinking alcohol. Are you aware of your drinking IQ? Test your knowledge, and see how many of the following questions you get correct.
Question #1: Is it okay to binge drink every so often?
Answer: Healthy adults who binge drink, even once, can have their immune system weakened. This can make it more difficult to heal from injuries, and it may make you more susceptible to colds and other viruses.
Question #2: Can alcohol increase breast cancer risk in women?
Answer: Many studies show that having one to two drinks, or more, per day increases the risk of breast cancer. Women who drink regularly are 11 percent more likely to get breast cancer than non-drinkers. This is because alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Additionally, alcohol may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA.
Question #3: What is the best way to drink less alcohol this summer?
Answer: Set a limit of how much you plan to drink, before you start to drink. Know your “no” by practicing ways to refuse a drink. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, before, during and after drinking alcohol.
If you want to learn more about the answers, or expand your alcohol-related resources, view this SAMHSA factsheet. Next week, the Summer Sense Campaign will provide a few delicious recipes for non-alcoholic “mocktails.”
The 2020 Summer Sense Campaign runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. So every Wednesday, listen for ASAP’s broadcast segment on AFN Bavaria. Then return to this article for the discussed recipes, quizzes and more.