By Riva Preil Did you know that April is Alcohol Awareness Month? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) encourages Americans to spend time this month reviewing the potentially adverse effects of excessive alcohol consumption. According to the NIAAA, approximately 18 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder. In 2006, alcohol related problems cost our country $224 billion in lost productivity, health care costs, and property damage costs. Only 15% of individuals with alcohol consumption problems seek professional help. Addressing alcohol related problems is health beneficial for many reasons. Decreased alcohol consumption decreases risk of injury, heart and kidney disease, depression, anxiety, stroke, sexually transmitted infections, and several kinds of cancer. For more information about appropriate drinking habits and self-evaluation tools, please refer to the following links courtesy of the NIAAA: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/IsYourDrinkingPatternRisky/WhatsLowRiskDrinking.asp http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/IsYourDrinkingPatternRisky/WhatsYourPattern.asp http://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/ So raise your glassâ€¦to drinking in the best of health!