Studies have shown that 14.5 million people over the age of 12 have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). That is a medical condition that refers to a person’s inability to control or stop alcohol use despite negative occupational, health, or social consequences. For an AUD diagnosis, a person has to meet certain criteria.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. It is a public health program that is organized by the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. It seeks to educate about the issues and dangers related to alcoholism.
If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol, you don’t have to be alone. There are many alcohol rehab centers that will get you on the road to recovery in a safe and compassionate environment.
To learn more about Alcohol Awareness Month, read on for additional information.
Alcohol Awareness Month – What Is It?
Sponsored by the NCADD, Alcohol Awareness occurs every April to increase the understanding and awareness of alcoholism. Its goal is to teach people not only about the causes of alcoholism but also how it can be treated. It was established in 1987 and gives communities the opportunity to spread awareness.
The campaigns that happen during April can include a variety of things. Community centers, public health organizations, and treatment facilities can bolster their usual efforts to reach the public regarding alcohol abuse and addiction. They can carry out their campaigns via traditional and social media to draw attention to the cause.
Topics addressed include:
- How to talk to someone about their or your drinking problem
- Effects and signs of AUD
- How to find help
Campaigns can also include advertising, particularly in areas that are prone to excessive alcohol consumption, like university campuses. The goal is to guarantee that communities and families have all the information, options, and resources available to help control and treat alcoholism.
Why Is Alcohol Awareness Important?
The goal of the work being done during the month of April is to help address the stigma that surrounds substance abuse and alcoholism. Many people who struggle with alcohol addiction are in denial. They underestimate how much they drink, the impact it has on their life, how long their problem has been going on, and struggle to quit or control their drinking.
More than 95,000 people die each year in the United States from the excessive use of alcohol. That equates to around 261 deaths each day. Alcoholism is the number one cause of preventable death in the country.
Some alcohol-related deaths include:
- Car accidents due to impaired driving
- Drug overdose from another substance paired with alcohol
- Long Term health problems from drinking excessively over time (i.e. liver disease, heart disease, and types of cancer)
Someone who dies from an alcohol-related death has their life shortened by an average of 29 years. Cumulatively, that’s around 2.8 million years of life lost. Bringing awareness to AUD and how to help those who suffer from it is vital to bringing that number down.
Who Benefits From Alcohol Awareness Month?
Participating in Alcohol Awareness Month is open to everyone. Every person can benefit from the education that’s provided during the month of April.
Alcohol abuse is very common in the United States. Most people know or knew someone who suffered from the disorder. Reaching those people and giving them the resources they need is important to help lower the number of people suffering.
Organizations that can participate in campaigns during the month of April include:
- Healthcare facilities
- Community groups
- Churches or other faith-based organizations
- Law enforcement
- Substance abuse treatment facilities
National, state, and local events can be held to educate the public about the prevention and treatment of alcoholism. One of the focuses is how to prevent it in our youth. Parents and youths are encouraged to visit these events to understand how big of an impact alcohol can have on their future.
How to Find Treatment
If you or your loved one is suffering from AUD, you can seek help from a substance abuse treatment facility. The best way to have success is by getting inpatient treatment. That is where you stay in the facility during the process.
The first step of the recovery process is getting all of the alcohol out of your system. During this time, a person can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms and they can be dangerous if not treated in a professional establishment.
Some common symptoms include:
- Increased sweating
- Shaky hands
People who suffer from alcoholism are encouraged to look at the situations or triggers that compel them to drink. They learn healthier tools that will teach them to deal with those triggers in a better way. The non-addictive coping mechanisms give people the tools they need to break their addiction to alcohol.
Treatment plans can also include support groups, individual or group counseling, and relapse prevention training. Relapse rates are known to decrease by around 50% when a person utilizes these available treatments.
With inpatient care, a person will have access to assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can also take part in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to look at how they react in stressful environments.
Having a strong support system is vital to the recovery process. Surrounding yourself with those who want to help you achieve long-term sobriety will increase your chances of success.
Patients learn healthy coping mechanisms that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. They learn how to deal soberly with other people and manage their emotions. This makes their assimilation back into the real world after treatment even easier.
Honor This Year’s Alcohol Awareness Month
The more we talk about alcohol addiction, the less ashamed people will feel to discuss it. Shining a light on AUD through campaigns conducted during Alcohol Awareness Month will help countless people on the road to recovery.
If you or someone you know suffers from alcohol addiction, please contact our facility to discuss treatment options.