Alcohol’s impact on society is no secret.
You can find a drink no matter where you go, from a fancy restaurant to a concert to a baby shower. Binge drinking is often overlooked as “having a good time.” As long as someone can manage their responsibilities, people tend to give their heavy drinking a pass.
However, the culture surrounding drinking, especially excessive drinking, is a dangerous one. Alcohol-related fatalities are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States. More than 95,000 people lose their lives to alcohol-attributed deaths every year. Perhaps the U.S. should take another look at its ready acceptance of widespread alcohol use.
Alcohol Awareness Month is an annual campaign dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding surrounding Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). It recognizes the need for people to question the widespread acceptance of unsafe drinking. The campaign also hopes that raising awareness will decrease the harmful stigma associated with AUD.
What is Alcohol Awareness Month and why is it important?
The National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) noticed the public’s harmful relationship with alcohol. Realizing that something needed to be done, they established Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987. Since its introduction, the month opens the door for conversations surrounding alcohol abuse in communities across the United States.
Every April, NCADD hosts Alcohol Awareness Month and encourages people throughout the country to participate. Treatment facilities, physicians, and individual clinicians alike can come together to spread awareness of the effects of alcohol abuse. The more people know the dangers of excessive drinking, the more NCADD hopes to put a stop to the alarming habit.
Alcohol Awareness Month invites people who care about the impact of alcoholism to initiate conversations. By breaking down the barriers for what is often a difficult topic, NCADD encourages people to share openly about their struggles with drinking or the impact of a loved one’s drinking. Reducing the shame and guilt that problem drinkers typically experience is a crucial part of limiting the spread of alcohol abuse.
Millions of people throughout the United States consume alcohol. While most people can control and enjoy their drinking, a significant portion of people do not have that ability. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the drinking behaviors of the population are as follows:
Not everyone who consumes alcohol drinks to excess, but a notable number do. When almost 1 in 4 people report a binge drinking episode in the last month, society should question whether this is an acceptable practice.
Since alcohol-related fatalities are such a prevalent but preventable cause of death, why do more people not look at their relationship with drinking? Whether from driving under the influence or developing a health condition as a result of drinking, alcohol often causes many more problems than it receives credit for.
Are you wondering whether your drinking behaviors are “normal”? You may be part of the 25% of regular drinkers who don’t exhibit problematic use. However, if you drink to the point of intoxication every time you consume alcohol, you may want to reconsider your drinking behaviors. Drinking to intoxication puts you at a much greater risk of long-term alcohol-related consequences.
Alcohol abuse also affects many more people than just the person who drinks. Parents, children, siblings, extended family, friends, and colleagues can all feel the impact of alcohol abuse. The stress, exhaustion, and fear that loved ones face are just as real as the drinking problem itself.
If you’ve tried controlling your drinking and found yourself unable to, you may want to eliminate alcohol from your life. But overcoming alcoholism may seem like an almost impossible feat when you’re in the midst of problematic drinking. Where are you supposed to start?
Thankfully, you don’t need to deal with your drinking problem alone. Help is available to anyone willing to reach out and ask for help. Whether it is your drinking or the drinking of a loved one, there are many options for those looking to stop. Quitting drinking is the first step toward freedom from the cycle of Alcohol Use Disorder and a new chance at life.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Deaths from Excessive Alcohol Use in the United States.
2. Partners in Prevention. (2021). Alcohol Awareness Month 2021.
3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.