Alcohol Awareness Month: Help for Today…
Facing Addiction with NCADD (The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) would like to bring people’s attention to alcohol. It is Alcohol Awareness Month which provides us an opportunity to discuss the most used and misused substance on the planet. This year’s theme is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”
Most Americans spend little time considering the impact alcohol has on society. The majority of people can associate drinking with pleasurable experiences. Toasting at weddings or meeting close friends after work for a couple of rounds, for instance. Imbibing is enmeshed in the fabric of life. While everyone can live without beer, liquor, and wine, it is likely that few would favor such a scenario.
The better part of the population will never have to choose between paying for a drink or putting food on the table. Most will not get behind the wheel after having “too many” or lose friends on account of their drinking. Simply put, they will never feel powerless over a mind-altering substance.
However, it is an entirely different story for millions of men and women here at home and abroad. Alcohol can take an insidious toll on those who form unhealthy relationships with the substance. Left unchecked, the use of alcohol can wreak havoc on one’s mind, body, and spirit. Prolonged use can lead to the development of life-threatening health problems.
What’s more, a lot of people living with mental illness – depression et al. – turn to “booze” to cope with symptoms. A significant number of men and women are acutely familiar with the behavior. More than half of individuals living with a use disorder also have a co-occurring mental illness. The practice is known as self-medication.
Encouraging those who struggle with alcohol into recovery is a primary goal during Alcohol Awareness Month.
Alcohol is Pervasive
Unlike most drugs, alcohol is legal for adult consumption (not that that caveat deters underage drinking, much). Alcohol is ubiquitous; the drug is nearly everywhere in America. Since alcohol isn’t illegal, many young people have misconceptions about drinking.
Teenagers and young adults may learn that alcohol is dangerous for them in school, only to return home and see mom having a glass of wine. While it’s possible to drink responsibly, researchers contend that there is no safe amount of alcohol. Moreover, alcohol has a different effect from one person to the next.
Case in point: two young people can follow relatively similar drinking patterns for a time. One person has no adverse experiences, whereas the other’s life spirals out of control. The latter is subject to myriad problems, both psychologically and physically. It is paramount that younger Americans understand that drinking is a gamble. When people grasp the risks, they are more likely to make health-conscious decisions.
Alcohol Awareness Month 2019
“Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow” deals with “educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcohol addiction, particularly among our youth.” Throughout Alcohol Awareness Month it is prudent to share some facts about alcohol. Facing Addiction with NCADD reports:
- One in every 12 American adults, or 17.6 million people, suffer from alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence.
- 66.6 million people from age 12 to 17 report binge drinking.
- 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use in the U.S., and 2.8 million worldwide.
- 40 percent of all hospital beds in the United States are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption.
Between 1999 and 2016, the number of Americans (ages 25 to 34) who died annually from alcohol-related liver disease nearly tripled. The point is that it doesn’t always take long for alcohol to take its toll.
Fortunately, we can also report that recovery is possible for the millions of people struggling with alcohol. NCADD also states that as many as 20 million individuals and family members are living in recovery from alcohol use! Effective, evidence-based treatments are available for anyone who meets the criteria for addiction.
Seeking Assistance for Alcohol Use Disorder
During Alcohol Awareness Month and beyond, we encourage individuals and families to seek help for alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence. At NorthStar Transitions, we utilize evidence-based modalities in a unique setting to help people make lasting changes. Our highly trained and skilled team of clinicians can help you, or a loved one plot a course toward long-term recovery.
Please contact us today to learn more about the NST difference. (303) 558-6400