How Can I Support It?
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a good time to reflect on our drinking patterns and the role that alcohol plays in our lives. Most adults in the United States who drink alcohol drink moderately and without complications. At the same time, alcohol-related problems are among the most significant public health issues in the country. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects about 15 million adults in the United States, and an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the nation. Let’s take a look at the history of National Alcohol Awareness Month and then we can answer some questions like: How do you know if drinking alcohol has become a problem for you or a loved one? And where do you go for help if it has?
HISTORY OF NATIONAL ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH
First started in 1987, National Alcohol Awareness Month was founded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) as an extension to the temperance movement of the 1800s.
Marty Mann founded the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). She was one of the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous and the first woman to have successfully gone through a 12-step group. She founded NCADD to help people like her get counseled and treated for alcoholism and dedicated this group to key medical and scientific research for the community. Encouraged by the massive number of families going into recovery, NCADD marked April to bring about a nationwide change by using communication tools to cultivate awareness about binge drinking and how much more dangerous it can be than just a night of fun.
The Council leverages traditional and social media campaigns during April to draw attention to the causes of alcoholism and the risks of alcohol dependence, and encourages people to talk about this disease. It aims to foster responsible attitudes by designating a month of candid discussions and information sharing, while reaching out to the American public via community-sponsored awareness activities and campaigns designed to prevent alcoholism.
Since its inception in 1987, National Alcohol Awareness Month has saved many lives from alcohol-related deaths. Some of the ways the NCADD has made it possible to fight alcoholism is by launching personalized campaigns every year, Alcohol-Free-Weekend encouraging abstinence, and seeking help for someone if they are unable to. The D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and Know Your Limits campaigns have also instilled much-needed information about the harmful effects of alcohol consumption in children from an early age.
5 FACTS ABOUT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND
- An estimated 414,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 have alcohol use disorder in the U.S.
- Alcohol-impaired driving deaths accounts for 10,625 deaths, which is 29% of the overall driving fatalities.
- According to the CDC, annual binge-drinking-related costs are $249 billion.
- A report revealed that one in every four college students have trouble focusing on studies and receive lower grades overall due to alcohol consumption
- Lastly, and interestingly, when aging, white wine gets darker and red wine gets lighter.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH
- Participate in the Alcohol-Free-Weekend: As part of National Alcohol Awareness Month, NCADD encourages the public to spend 72 hours without alcohol. Make sure you and your family participate in this activity and monitor symptoms of discomfort or cravings within the three days.
- Start conversations: It is your role as a responsible adult to initiate the conversations that nobody is willing to talk about. Speak with your friends and families who you’ve noticed are reliant on heavy drinking. As a parent, teach your children about alcohol misuse and help them build coping skills. Tell them that stress, anger, loneliness, and peer pressure are a part of life and should not cause them to give in to liquor for relaxation.
- Throw ‘clean’ parties: Use the month of April to throw alcohol-free, clean, and healthy parties for adults. Invite your friends, neighbors, and family over to enjoy social gatherings without any trace of liquor. Serve kombucha, club soda, and booze-free beer to set an example. Consider doing this thrice a month for healthy practice!
Alcohol has become such a crutch in our society, especially among young adults. To think that one needs a substance in their body in order to be able to have fun is one of the biggest lies our culture has sold to our youth. If we focus on creating a generation of children who are comfortable in their own skin and shift their paradigm regarding having fun, we can save so many. Please join us in celebrating Alcohol Awareness Month.
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