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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Talking About Alcohol and Alcoholism

alcohol awareness month
With prescription opioids, fentanyl and heroin on the mind of most lawmakers and health experts, the National Council On Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) would like you to divert your attention to alcohol this April. As they have for the last 30 years, going back to 1987. April is Alcohol Awareness Month and this year’s theme is, “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery.”

Just as in years past, the focus has much to do with ending the stigma of alcoholism, a chronic disease that takes more lives in America every year than opioids. But alcoholism receives far less attention. NCADD encourages local communities to educate their citizens, especially young people, about the dangers of alcohol. There will be events occurring across the country designed to open peoples' eyes about such dangers, and encourage those suffering from an alcohol use disorder to seek help.

It is easy for young adults to rationalize their relationship with alcohol by comparing their drinking to that of their peers. It often takes years for one to realize that their drinking has gotten out of hand, that their lives have become unmanageable and they are, in fact, powerless over alcohol.

By working to educate people about the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder, they may be more likely to seek help—sooner rather than later. With addiction, time is of the essence; with each day that passes the disease progresses and the risk of premature death becomes ever more likely. Working to end the stigma of alcoholism and other forms of mental illness, countless lives will be saved.


Connecting the Dots

Perhaps you would like to have a role in raising awareness about alcohol and alcoholism? If so, there is a lot of information about hosting events in your area at NCADD. Even if you are unable to organize an event, that’s alright; you can use your social media networks to help spread the message. If you are a parent, talk to your kids about alcohol. When we bring such subjects into the light, we demystify and take away some of the substance's power to keep people from seeking help.

“Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people,” says Andrew Pucher, President and CEO of NCADD, “and parents can make a difference. The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. That’s why it is so important to help your child connect the dots and make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.”


Getting Help

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 5.1 million adults ages 18 and older (6.2 percent of this age group) had an alcohol use disorder. This number includes 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women. The vast majority of those people had not been helped then, and it is likely they have not had help since 2015.

If you, or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, please contact Whiteside Manor. We can help you begin the journey of recovery, and teach you how you can live without ever having to pick up a drink or drug again.

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