Struggles with excessive alcohol use are common: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 88,000 lives are potentially lost each year to it. This makes confronting the problem and helping those in need a crucial public duty. That’s why Alcohol Awareness Month began.
Nearly 30 years of raising awareness
April has been Alcohol Awareness Month since 1987, when the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence create the observance to connect individuals with resources, educate the public and reduce stigma associated with alcohol addiction. Now named Facing Addiction with NCADD, the organization says Alcohol Awareness Month is primarily an opportunity to “dismantle the barriers to treatment and recovery.”
How is this done? Supporters are encouraged to attend or host community events, raise awareness through social campaigns, and participate in a sober weekend. The first weekend of each April from Friday to Sunday is a 72-hour period where Americans are urged to go without a drink. Individuals who may be struggling with a substance abuse disorder can start treatment or understand the realities of their condition. Family members, friends, sponsors and allies can similarly go alcohol-free to express solidarity, as well as raise awareness. Meanwhile, April 11 is National Alcohol Screening Day.
‘Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow’
The theme of April 2019 is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow,” which is intended to inspire confidence that becoming free of alcohol use is possible. According to Facing Addiction with NCADD, 20 million people are living in recovery. Reaching those 17.6 million who currently suffer from a dependency with a positive message may help lead them to seek solutions.
Alcohol Awareness Month is an ideal time for that outreach, as events are held on a local, state and national level. These programs focus on education on prevention and treatment options, and take place in places like high schools, university campuses, places of worship and community centers.
How you can help
It’s easy to participate in Alcohol Awareness Month and do a part in helping address the issue. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion lays out a few ways in which you can take up the cause:
- Hold an alcohol-free block party that engages youths or other community groups, and which is sponsored by local businesses.
- Tweet about Alcohol Awareness Month using approved or trending hashtags; link to helpful content in other social media posts.
- Volunteer with a local organization to help connect those in need with resources or referrals to services.
On a more personal level, make it a point to either get help for yourself or a loved one. While there is no wrong time to do this, Alcohol Awareness Month is a particularly advantageous time to seek recovery. Those barriers to sobriety are perhaps never lower, and there are numerous stakeholders and advocates ready to pitch in and get you or a family member the treatment you need.
If interested in learning more about those options for substance abuse, or facts about alcohol use in general, contact Fairwinds Treatment Centers today.