–April is Alcohol Awareness Month–

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council is marking “April – Alcohol Awareness Month” by reminding adult beverage alcohol consumers to embrace moderation year-round.

“While April is Alcohol Awareness month, moderate, responsible consumption should be practiced twelve months a year,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy.  “Alcohol can be part of an enjoyable, healthy adult lifestyle but moderation is the key.  For those under twenty-one, the only responsible use, is zero use.”

The Federal Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men and define a standard drink as 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of regular beer.  The Guidelines do not differentiate among the health effects of distilled spirits, beer or wine.

Dr. Raymond Scalettar, former Chair of the American Medical Association and medical adviser to the Distilled Spirits Council, noted that numerous studies have concluded that moderate consumption of beverage alcohol is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and that, according to the Federal Dietary Guidelines, “lowest all-cause mortality occurs at an intake of one to two drinks per day.”

“Any potential benefit from moderate consumption can be negated by the harmful effects of excessive consumption,” said Dr. Scalettar.  “It is imperative that adults who choose to drink, do so moderately and responsibly at all times or otherwise abstain.”

Dr. Scalettar noted that even moderate drinking may pose risks for some individuals and recommended that those who have questions regarding beverage alcohol should discuss the potential risks and potential benefits of consuming alcohol with his/her physician.

“Studies suggest that patients who discuss alcohol with their physicians are able to make the most informed decisions whether to include alcohol as a diet and lifestyle choice, or to completely refrain from drinking,” said Dr. Scalettar.