Alcohol Awareness Month, Changing Attitudes
April 5, 2018
It’s time to talk about alcohol, seeing as it is Alcohol Awareness Month. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that each year nearly 90,000 Americans die prematurely due to alcohol-related complications. Alcohol use is the third leading cause of preventable death, after tobacco and poor diet. Unlike opioids, alcohol usually claims its victims at a much slower pace, so the substance doesn’t garner the same level of attention. However, when you put the two together, the damage caused by the two substances side by side, you can see that we must better address alcohol use in America.
Alcohol use typically begins in high school. It is difficult to impress upon young people the dangers of drinking, considering that most teens have a misguided belief of invincibility. For the majority of teenagers who drink, problems will not develop until down the road; this reality has perhaps lead to a lack of urgency among parents to prevent drinking on the weekends. Some parents will go so far as allowing their child to drink as long is occurs “safely.”
Parental provisional alcohol use is a slippery slope and often leads young people to form unhealthy relationships with liquor. Remember, the teenage brain is still developing; when any mind-altering substance is brought into the equation, the result is rarely positive. Even though most teens’ drinking will not develop into an alcohol use disorder, a significant number of young people will not be so lucky. What’s more, teens (just like adults) under the influence are prone to make reckless decisions such as drinking and driving; put simply, when teens mix with alcohol it’s often a recipe for disaster.
Alcohol Awareness Month
Educating teens about the risks of using alcohol is vital and can prevent a considerable number of people from years of heartache and illness. It’s is worth pointing out that use disorders develop in some people quicker than others, it’s not uncommon to require treatment in a person’s twenties (sometimes even earlier). When AUD presents itself, it is critical that assistance is sought quickly; the longer the disorder persists without treatment, the worse it is for everyone.
Treatment works, recovery is possible for all those who are willing to reach out for help. Unfortunately, there is still an enormous amount of stigma that accompanies addiction preventing people from taking steps to save their life. One of the primary goals of Alcohol Awareness Month is reducing stigma and educating people about alcoholism and recovery. When people come to understand that their affliction is not any fault of their own and receive compassion from their peers, they are much more likely to accept help and begin the journey of recovery.
Naturally, AUD will affect fewer individuals if the steps are taken earlier in life to present young people with the facts about alcohol. The theme of Alcohol Awareness Month this year is, “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’” The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) wants parents to realize the critical role that they can play in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives. You can find more information on how you can get involved in events happening this month, here.
Alcohol Use Disorder
AUD often strikes at an early age. If you are a young adult struggling with alcohol, Christians Drug Rehab can help set a course toward long-term addiction recovery. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you or a loved one begin a life-changing journey.