Drug council: Alcohol a dangerous and powerful drug

The National Drug Council is reminding alcohol consumers about the dangerous effects of drinking as part of Alcohol Awareness Month.

The organization said people had become desensitized to the presence of alcohol because it is so widely accepted and barely recognized a drug.

National Drug Council program manager Brenda Watson said the group wanted to remind adults that by down-playing alcohol use, children would get the sense that alcohol was harmless, that there were no real long-term effects, and associate drinking with fun and having a good time.

“Teach your child that abstinence from alcohol is an acceptable lifelong decision. If your child is of legal age to drink, explain to them how to use alcohol moderately and appropriately,” Ms. Watson said.

“Remember that use of alcohol is your decision and that drinking is not necessary for having a good time. Always respect another person’s decision not to drink.”

The immediate effects of alcohol include an adjustment in the brain’s chemistry which causes reduced inhibitions, impaired judgement, slowed reactions, slurred speech, memory and breathing problems, loss of coordination, and in extreme causes the drug can cause death, according to the council..

Long-term effects include increased risks of heart disease, liver disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, stomach bleeding, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, and several types of cancer.

The council also warned that women who consume alcohol while pregnant are at risk of causing brain damage or other serious health problems to their baby.

For further information, visit www.ndc.ky or phone 949-9000.