April is National Alcohol Awareness Month
Every April the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and treatment of the nation’s #1 public health problem: alcoholism. The theme this year is “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’” The target audience: youth and their parents.
As part of Alcohol Awareness Month, the NCADD says local, state, and national events will be “aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly among our youth, and the important role that parents can play in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives.”
Leo Gaeta, VP of Programs at CBHA, believes there has never been a greater need for awareness of the dangers of underage drinking. “Sadly, approximately 5,000 youth under the age of 21 die each year because of drinking,” Gaeta says.
CBHA regularly participates in educational events. Gaeta says, “We use an alcohol screening tool that helps patient identify behaviors that might indicate an alcohol dependence problem. Trained staff member assist patients and they are assured that the information they share is completely confidential.”
When a patient shares a question or concern about their use of alcohol or any substance, CBHA providers take that concern seriously. “We place a high priority on situations like this,” Michelle Taylor, Psychiatric Mental Health Provider, says. “If a clinic physician calls me and has a patient he would like me to see right away, I will do my best to see the patient in the moment.”
This campaign and associated events are an opportunity to reduce the stigma associated with alcohol dependence, as well as remove the barriers to treatment and recovery while making help available to those who suffer from the disease.
TRY TO GO DRY
An important part of Alcohol Awareness Month is choosing an Alcohol-Free weekend during the month of April. The intent is for you to stop drinking from Friday through Monday, and then gauge the effect of the alcohol-free days.
If your body has become used to the continual presence of alcohol, suddenly stopping can cause physical effects, such as sweating, nausea, headaches and trouble sleeping.
If it was difficult to manage 72 hours without drinking, that struggle could signal a dependence on alcohol that should be more closely examined. If you are having trouble with your three-day alcohol-free test, we urge you to contact your medical provider at CBHA to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms.
SOURCE: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence