Alcohol Awareness Month is an opportunity for people to join the conversation about alcohol-related issues. Since April of 1987, organizations across the country have been embracing this month as a catalyst for alcohol abuse education and outreach. Whether you’re struggling with an alcohol use disorder (colloquially referred to as alcoholism), or know someone who needs support, this national movement is here to shed light on how drinking impacts individuals, families and communities—and how to get help.
One major issue that Alcohol Awareness Month has helped bring to the forefront is the ignorance that still surrounds alcohol abuse. People often don’t get the support they need for recovery because they are not aware that they are abusing alcohol in the first place. In fact, many individuals with alcohol dependence are in denial about their relationship with alcohol, as are their friends and family, who often don’t want to see the reality of the situation. But unhealthy alcohol consumption is dangerous, and turning a blind eye to alcohol abuse only hurts the victim (and their loved ones) more in the end. It’s time to remove the stigma around alcohol abuse and start a dialogue about treatment and recovery.
If you aren’t sure how to broach the subject, one of the resources available to you this month is information and tips on how to talk to a loved one about a drinking problem. Check out alcohol.org for help distinguishing alcoholism, as well, since it can be difficult to know the difference between an alcoholic and someone who just overindulges.
Even if you aren’t dealing with alcoholism, it’s important to get informed about alcohol use and abuse, especially if you or your child are just entering college. Alcohol Awareness Month was actually founded with the original intention of helping college-aged students who might be drinking too much as part of fraternity culture or newfound freedom from their parents. Almost 60 percent of students drink alcohol in any given month, which can include binge drinking, blacking out during hazing rituals, and getting involved in alcohol-related accidents. If you’re a parent, have a conversation with your kids about alcohol use and safety; and if you’re a student, reading and talking about these issues will make you more aware in situations where people are drinking.
From our schools to our homes, whether directly or indirectly, alcohol touches all of our lives. This April, learn the facts and get the word out to help save a life—it may even be your own.
Sponsoring Organization: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence