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Whether you knew it before now or not, doesn’t really matter, we are here to tell you that April is alcohol awareness month. Alcohol awareness month is where we all come together to shed light on the truths about alcohol. We bust through the myths, the stigma, and the social acceptance to give you the raw facts so you can be more aware of what is going on and make a difference if need be. So here are five things you need to take away from alcohol awareness month.

1. Binge Drinking Means Drinking Less Than You Thought

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heavy drinking is defined as eight or more drinks per week for women, and 15 or more drinks per week for men. Binge drinking, which the CDC calls “the most common form of drinking,” is defined as four or more drinks during a single occasion for women, and five or more drinks during a single occasion for men.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) notes that about half of college students who drink, binge drink.

2. The Legal Drinking Age for Americans is Only Sort of, Kinda 21

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 requires states to prohibit anyone under 21 from buying or publicly possessing alcoholic beverages “as a condition of receiving State highway funds.”

It does not, however, explicitly prohibit consumption. According to the Federal Trade Commission, states may have limited exceptions, including those relating to religious activities or parental consent. But all states only permit family members to provide alcohol to a minor on private property.

By the way, after Prohibition, nearly all states lowered the boom on drinking under age 21, but by the mid ’70s, thanks in part to the voting age having been lowered to 18, 29 states had dropped it down to 18. A main reason the act was passed was studies showing that car accidents were the leading cause of death among teenagers. And while it’s still the No. 1 cause, the numbers have dropped by a lot.

3. Will We Ever Lower the Drinking Age?

Probably not. A 2014 Gallup poll shows that 74% of people oppose the lowering of the drinking age to 18.  This is consistent with the percentage of people — 79% — who supported the National Minimum Drinking Age Act.

4. The Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

When you binge drink, basically your body can no longer process the alcohol, which causes the blood alcohol concentration to rise. The clinical signs and symptoms range from “minimal impairment, decreased judgment and control, slurred speech, reduced muscle coordination, vomiting, and stupor (reduced level of consciousness and cognitive function) to coma and death.”

5. Drinking Responsibly (as a non-alcoholic) is Easy

Just be smart about it!

Be careful when you indulge –and remember, the old adage “everything in moderation” is never more true than when drinking alcohol.  Here are some of the tips from some websites around the United States.

  • Know what you’re drinking, and how much alcohol is in it
  • Don’t mix alcohol with energy drinks. The caffeine in energy drinks may mask the effects of alcohol and lead to drinking too much.
  • Drink plenty of water in between drinks
  • Never drive while buzzed, much less drunk

OR, DON’T DRINK AT ALL.

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