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The Mountaineer Online

Program gives tips on reducing risk of alcohol problems

Drinking too much alcohol increases people's risk of health-related injuries, violence, drown- ing, liver disease, and some types of cancer.
The good news? We can all do our part to prevent alcohol misuse or abuse.
Here are some ways you can make a difference.

Don’t be afraid to say no
Sometimes the fear of others’ reactions keeps us from doing what we know is right. If someone is pressuring you to do something that is not right for you, you have the right to say no, without giving a reason why, and walk away.
It may seem like everyone is doing it, but they are not. Don’t let someone else make decisions for you because you are the only one who will face the consequences of your choices.

Get educated about alcohol, drug facts
You cannot rely on the myths that are out there. Your ability to make the right decisions includes gaining knowledge. Knowledge increases your power to protect yourself from being affected by an impairment-related incident.

Be a role model, set example
Remember, what you do is more important than what you say. People watch what you do.

Connect with your friends, avoid negative peer pressure
Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If your social group of friends focuses most activities around alcohol, then perhaps it is time to consider a new social group or recommend alcohol-free activities.
Remember, you do not have to go along to get along.

Speak out and speak up
Take responsibility for your life and your safety. Speak out about how choices regarding alcohol use can cause high-risk or low-risk outcomes.
If you know of or see someone having a problem, then don’t be a part of the problem by not saying anything. Become part of the solution, and speak up.

Enjoy life, protect the things you value
Learn to enjoy life as well as the people involved in your life without adding alcohol. Alcohol abuse can change who you are, limit your potential, complicate your life and place at risk not only yourself but the very things that you value most. Far too often the phrase “I am bored” is used as an excuse to abuse alcohol. Becoming active in community activities, such as music, art, sports or volunteering, is a great way to gain perspective on life.

Plan ahead
Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol use. As you make plans for a party or going out with friends, you need to plan ahead. Make sure there is someone you can call day or night if you need help, and be prepared in case you need to call. Have five written plans, and carry them with you. Look at them often as well so that they become second nature.

Get help
If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, get help. DON’T WAIT.

For more information, contact the Fort Drum Army Substance Abuse Program, 4th Armored Division Drive, at 772-3301.

Fort Drum Army Substance Abuse Program

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