Alcohol Awareness Month
April is Alcohol Awareness Month,
a public health program organized by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1987 to increase awareness and outreach surrounding the dangers of alcohol.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a public health program organized by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1987 to increase awareness and outreach surrounding the dangers of alcohol. Originally targeted at college-age students, Alcohol Awareness Month is now a national movement meant to improve understanding of the causes and effects of alcoholism and enable families and communities to better deal with alcohol-related issues.
According to the NCADD, “Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems. More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parents is dependent on or has abused alcohol”.
Fortunately, we as a society are becoming more aware of the dangers of drugs, particularly opiates, but we must also consider the impact alcohol continues to have on our communities. While drinking is seen as socially acceptable, one who is dependent on alcohol continues to drink despite negative consequences. The American Medical Association declared alcoholism a disease in 1956. Yet there remains a stigma attached to alcoholism in our society. How many of us have heard someone say something to the effect of: “You don’t look like an alcoholic”? Yet, there is no true image of an alcoholic. Our communities are the greatest sources of strength in breaking down the stigma attached to alcoholism. When we begin to talk openly about alcoholism, we have the potential to connect and support those suffering in silence. When we are open about addiction, lives can change. When we support resources for people affected by alcoholism, lives can change.
When we can listen without judgment, lives can change. When we offer compassion and support, lives can change. When we treat people with alcoholism with respect, lives can change. When we share our own experiences, lives can change.
May we continue to raise awareness throughout Alcohol Awareness Month and beyond.
Megan Hein, MA, LCSW, LCADC
Alina Lodge treats all types of chemical dependency such as alcoholism and drug addictions including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, as well as prescription drug addiction. If you or a loved one struggles to stay sober, contact us today.