Every April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence designates April as Alcohol Awareness Month, a period that aims to shed light on the dangers of alcohol dependency and what an addiction can do to ruin lives. This year, the council is looking to take on an issue that has become more prevalent in society over the last few years: underage drinking.
Statistics from national organizations dedicated to alcohol awareness have stated that teenagers who begin to drink before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop a drinking problem than their peers. It is important to have a conversation with young people to try and nip the issue in the bud before the drinking spins out of control and becomes a full-blown addiction.
There are many different issues that drinking excessively can present. While it is possible to get away with alcoholism without running afoul of the law, there is no escaping the harmful impact too much alcohol intake can have on a person's physical well-being. There are all kinds of symptoms and signs to be on the lookout for, including:
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Cardiomyopathy, the stretching and drooping of heart muscle
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
- Heightened risk of mouth of esophagus cancer
There is also the economic angle to consider. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the financial cost of alcoholism across the country is just over $223 billion, or about $750 dollars per person. Researchers from the CDC have found that the monetary losses fall into the following categories:
- Lost workplace productivity: 72 percent
- Excessive drinking: 11 percent
- Law enforcement and criminal expenses: 9 percent
- Motor vehicle crash costs: 6 percent
These issues are why it is so important to get the people in your life the help that they need, no matter how old they are. The purpose of making this month dedicated to underage drinking is to help prevent more people from falling into the cycle of self-destruction that is so often accompanied by excessive drinking. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to falling into the trap of alcoholism, particularly if their activities are not closely monitored by parents.
If you or somebody you know is in need of treatment, contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today! Since founded by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef in 1989, our alcohol treatment centers have used a unique dual diagnosis approach — combining clinical treatment with therapeutic counseling — to uncover and treat the psychological triggers behind substance abuse, helping patients to overcome their alcohol addiction and get their life back on track.