April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Started by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), this event was created to reduce the stigma and encourage community awareness of this detrimental disease. Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. Since alcohol is one of the most socially accepted drugs, the dangers and possibility of addiction is often downplayed in today’s society. The goal of Alcohol Awareness Month is to change the view of drinking alcohol from a “rite of passage”. In order to do so, communities need to arm youth with the facts about this potentially harmful drug. Here are some easy steps to be an educator and support system to others.
- Be aware of the local resources available for people struggling with an alcohol addiction.
- Alcoholic Anonymous is a free 12 step program aimed at creating a social support system for addicts.
- Al-Anon is a support group for loved one’s affects by another’s drinking.
- Educate yourself about the signs of alcohol addiction.
- Provide a supportive environment for younger ones in your family. Healthy support systems can deter alcohol use in adolescents.
- Explain that one serving of beer, wine, and liquor all affect the body the same ways.
- If you are an adult who chooses to drink, be responsible and provide a model for moderation and smart choices.
- Speak up when you believe someone is considering driving while under the influence.
Everyone can make a small difference. For more information and helpful resources, visit https://www.ncadd.org/aam.