By Brittany Dekorte
The month of April has been marked as ‘Alcohol Awareness Month’ since 1987. Founded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the month is meant to bring attention to those who struggle with alcoholism.
Given the name ‘Alcohol Use Disorder’ by the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, alcoholism is defined by drinking more than one intends, feeling cravings for alcohol, and the act of drinking affecting one’s daily life.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism elaborates on this definition, identifying a threshold limit for high risk drinking: no more than three or four drinks in one day, and no more than seven to 14 drinks a week.
A drink in this case is defined as 12 fl oz of beer, 8 fl oz of malt liquor, 5 fl oz of table wine, or 1.5 fl oz of 80 proof spirits. Above this limit, the institute says, you are at a high risk of developing a dependency on alcohol.
Drinking alcohol is common for people of college age and on college campuses. Studies by the group Monitoring the Future found a correlation between students who drink and their grades, with students who drank less than four drinks a week staying within the A range, while students who drink nine or more drinks a week often fall into the D and F range for grades.
The WCC Counseling Center has put out an information table in the first floor of the WCC library. The table is full of free pamphlets, more statistics, and contact information for people struggling or friends of people struggling with alcoholism.