Educating a New Generation: April is Alcohol Awareness Month
Synonymous with celebration, alcohol has, for centuries, played a significant role in society.
Though as alcohol continues to be the most commonly abused drug in the United States (according to NCADD data), education surrounding this addictive substance is more important than ever before.
The month of April in particular aims to highlight the effects of alcoholism, while educating families and individuals on coping methods and the availability of treatment.
Established in 1987, Alcohol Awareness Month (AAM) was created by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). RECO is proud to be a member of NCADD, and fully supports the organization in its mission to lessen the stigmas associated with alcoholism.
This year’s theme for AAM is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery.” This theme will focus on America’s youth, encouraging parents to create an open dialogue about alcohol and the potential for substance abuse.
Andrew Pucher, CEO of NCADD, stated that, “The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. That’s why it is so important to help your child connect the dots and make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.”
With over 17 million American adults—or 1 in 12 people—struggling with alcohol dependence, eliminating the stigma of treatment and recovery is of crucial importance. Furthermore, a staggering additional number of adults (and youth) engage in patterns of binge drinking, which can develop into more serious forms of substance abuse, including addiction.
Readily available at most grocery stores, restaurants, and pharmacies, alcohol is a substance that nearly every person has encountered at some point in life. A common feature of evening meals and social gatherings, drinking maintains a steady presence in our society. The key, in spreading awareness, is to ensure that the signs of addiction are recognizable amongst the general population.
Signs of Alcohol Dependence
There are many signs of alcoholism, some more subtle than others. These signs may vary from person to person, though they can include the following:
- Feeling strong cravings to drink
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when going through periods of not drinking
- Losing control over your alcohol intake; lessened inhibitions and judgement
- Alcohol affects personal, professional, or social obligations
- Hiding alcohol or drinking in secret
Hope for Recovery
As NCADD begins to “connect the dots,” through Alcohol Awareness Month, they pave the way for parents to begin a valuable conversation with their children. Families everywhere are affected by the insidious disease of alcoholism, and taking the steps to educate children—and all individuals—on responsible drinking and potential dangers brings us closer to a renewed space where those who are suffering can recover safely.
The stigma of alcoholism and treatment for alcoholism is one that persists, though through advocacy, we are able to provide hope.