April is “Alcohol Awareness Month.” It is aimed at educating and raising awareness of underage drinking, alcohol abuse, treatment, and other related issues. It was founded and has been sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) since 1987. By educating the public, the NCADD is attempting to reduce the stigma that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help. The theme for this year is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.”
Alcohol Awareness Month: How to Participate
You can participate in alcohol awareness month as an individual, as a group, or as a family.
1. Talk to your kids and teens: Getting the word across to your kids or teenagers is very important and it can be a great way to participate in alcohol awareness month. Peer pressure is one of the top reasons that kids start to drink. Research shows that talking to your kids early and often can cut down on alcohol abuse.
2. Avoid overconsumption at social drinking occasions: Set a daily limit and stick to it. Have fun with virgin cocktails or sparkling cider. Show others that it is possible to have fun without overindulging!
3. Get employees who sell alcohol to double check the age: If you work in a place that sells alcohol, a great way to observe alcohol awareness month is to talk to the people that sell about selling to minors. Bouncers, cashiers, and bartenders should double check and verify the actual birthdate along with the current photo on the ID.
4. Recognize if you are drinking too much: If you have trouble sticking to daily limits or have noticed an increase in your drinking, Alcohol Awareness Month can be a great time to take stock. If you find yourself drunk or hungover a lot or others have been telling you to ease up, it’s time to face reality. Use Alcohol Awareness Month to learn more about the long-term effects of alcohol and to seek help.
5. Participate in Alcohol – Free Weekend: This can be a great way to participate in Alcohol Awareness Month as a group, a family or an individual. An integral part of Alcohol Awareness Month is the Alcohol-Free Weekend, which takes place on the first weekend in April (April 5-7, 2013.) All Americans are invited to engage in three alcohol-free days. If you find this difficult, see number four above.
6. Urge your loved one to get help: Do you have a friend or loved one whose drinking is negatively affecting their relationships, their careers, or their health? This Alcohol Awareness Month, encourage them to seek help. Go with them to an AA group or contact a treatment program. Be supportive but not judgmental or enabling. Let them know that you care about them and you will be there if they want help, but you will not tolerate them continuing to harm themselves and others through their drinking habit. Look after yourself if you are living with an alcoholic. If you are a victim of alcohol-caused violence, seek immediate help and safety.
If your loved one is in need of alcohol detox or treatment for alcoholism please give us a call at 800-951-6135.