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The Great Risk - (7/1/2011)

The Great Risk Alcohol!

Potential benefits from an occasional drink are outweighed by greater risks of much higher potential and many devastating personal and emotional problems that arise from drinking alcohol.  These Great Risks include injury, health problems, loss of jobs due to drinking and most of all loss of life. Common to Local 7 members and many other workers is that they often brush aside comments about drinking as something that we all do and have always done. However, in these fragile economic times professionalism cannot be replaced. Skilled tradesmen are expected to act and perform above that of non-union workers. Now more then ever impairment from alcohol use and abuse affects not only you and your family but the whole industry.

Local 7 Business Manager Tom Lane and the Local 7 Members Assistance Program is sending this message to the membership to encourage you to seek help and treatment for alcohol or any other addiction or personal concern affecting you or your family. Often many feel they can’t ask for help or they are to busy. Remember the longer you wait the Greater the Risk.

By calling the MAP Hot Line at 914-417-5355 you will receive help in a confidential manner. Inpatient treatment is available through the Local 7 Members Assistance Program paid at 100% with no cost to you or your family.

The Great Risk includes:
*Injuries
. Drinking too much increases your chances of being injured or even killed. Alcohol is a factor for example, in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drowning, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls.
*Health problems. Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, bleeding from the stomach, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, and several types of cancer. They may have problems managing diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions.
*Signs of a drinking problem include behaviors like drinking for the purpose of getting drunk; drinking alone or keeping it secret; drinking to escape problems; hiding alcohol in odd places; getting irritated when you are unable to obtain alcohol to drink; and having problems at work, school, home, or legally as a result of your drinking. Other warning signs of alcohol abuse include losing interest in activities you used to enjoy.
*Alcohol use disorders. Generally known as alcoholism and alcohol abuse, Alcohol use disorders are medical conditions that can be diagnosed when a patient's drinking causes distress or harm. In the United States, about 18 million people suffer from alcoholism.
Beyond the physical and mental health risks, heavy drinking and abuse is linked with personal problems including losing a driver's license after getting arrested for DWI. Moreover, being lucky enough to not kill someone or someone in your family,   I can’t begin to tell you how addiction to alcohol affects the family. Having relationship trouble when drinking is just the beginning; families are usually torn apart with children suffering the most.
Ask yourself these questions: Have you ever drank more than you intended to drink? Have you ever said I will only have a couple of drinks and not stop after two? Have you ever said you were going to stop drinking and didn’t?  Has anyone told you to stop drinking? Did you continue to drink even though it makes you fell depressed or anxious? Has drinking affected you, your job or family?
If you answered yes to any of these questions it may indicate that you need help! 
 
Local 7 Members Assistance Program is there waiting to help. We have helped many members suffering from alcoholism, addiction and emotional illness. We will intervene and take you or your family member all the way through treatment and provide follow-up services to help you make the changes needed to save your life. Just call the confidential help line at 914-417-5355

Pat Mercora MSW, LAP-C, SAP, NCACII
Local 7 Members Assistance Program


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