Try your hand at pouring ‘standard’ drink
Stop by the Health 1st Wellness Wednesday table between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Children’s Hospital lobby to learn about what constitutes the right amount of alcohol and enter your name in a drawing for a gift card.
by Suzanne Thomas, Ph.D.
Office of Addiction Education & Outreach
The medical advice about alcohol can be confusing. In the right amounts, alcohol offers adults important health benefits. It reduces risk of heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. It also lowers the risk of dying of a heart attack and may lower the risk of ischemic strokes, gallstones, and diabetes. In higher amounts, however, alcohol is toxic. It increases the risk of several types of cancer (pancreas, mouth, larynx, esophagus, liver, and breast). It damages heart muscle, and increases one’s risk of stroke. Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) can also occur as a result of brain changes produced by repeated bouts of heavy drinking.
So what’s the right amount? How do you get the benefits of alcohol and avoid the risks? The key is in understanding the standard drink, which is 12 ounces of beer (5 percent alcohol content), 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of 80-proof liquor. Moderate alcohol use—the type of drinking that affords the health benefits of alcohol—is defined as two standard drinks per day for men age 21 to 65, and one standard drink per day for women and for men 65 years of age and older.
Unfortunately, many people who drink alcohol miscalculate by pouring a drink that contains more alcohol than a standard drink should. These mistakes mean that two drinks per day may actually be closer to four, and what is perceived as moderate drinking may not be.
Think you can pour a standard drink? Come to the Children’s Hospital lobby from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 1 and play Wheel of Pour-tune, a game designed to teach adults how to pour a standard drink. If you’re accurate in your pour, your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Target gift card. Stop by the booth also to receive a free blood alcohol estimator card and a personalized assessment to determine whether the general drinking guidelines are right for you. This Wellness Wednesday activity is sponsored by Health 1st and the Charleston Alcohol Research Center.
Health 1st events
Friday, Sept. 26, 2008