April marks National Alcohol Awareness Month, an annual educational campaign begun by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to highlight the dangers of alcohol misuse.
Since alcohol is widely available and plays a central role in many American gatherings, it’s no surprise that chronic risky behaviors like binge drinking and drunk driving continue to claim lives each year. More than 80,000 people die on average each year from alcohol-related dangers.
Organizers of National Alcohol Awareness Month strive to educate the public about the risks of alcohol misuse, as more than 15 million Americans struggled with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2018.
Resources to Educate About Alcohol Risk
Each year, addiction treatment providers, nonprofit advocacy and awareness organizations, and government agencies work together to recognize April as National Alcohol Awareness Month.
Federal agencies like the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion produce resources annually to help communities mark the month. These include pre-written messages to share on Twitter, badges for use on social media sites, and other information to include in community bulletins.
Nonprofits like Prevention First, which provides education to teens on the risks of drinking and drug use, have produced special posters and other material to mark the month-long April recognition. These include a series of eye-catching illustrated infographics called “How Alcohol Affects the Teenage Brain,” which can be shared on social media.
Other resources to mark National Alcohol Awareness Month include:
- “College and Drinking”, a video produced by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism focused on binge drinking risks among college students
- A series of alcohol-related webinars, infographics, and information to share on social media from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Tips and strategies to cut back on problematic or dangerous drinking created for employees by the insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield
The Formation of National Alcohol Awareness Month
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) was founded by Marty Mann, an early female member of Alcoholics Anonymous and one of the first women to find success getting sober through the 12-step group.
Inspired by her own recovery experience, Mann created a group dedicated to incorporating scientific and medical research into the addiction treatment community, as well as providing in-person counseling and treatment when appropriate.
Since the 1980s, NCADD has recognized each April as National Alcohol Awareness Month to promote conversations about alcohol risks and recovery.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Misuse
Though April is an ideal opportunity to assess whether you or a loved one have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, there’s no need to wait until this month to get started. If you or a loved one are struggling with any of the following signs and symptoms, please seek out help from a medical provider or an addiction treatment provider.
- Inability to stop drinking even if you want to
- Difficulty controlling the amount you drink
- Challenges in your personal or professional relationships due to drinking
- Hoarding, stashing, or excessively seeking out alcohol
- Risky behaviors due to drinking, such as driving, swimming, or unsafe sex
- Combining alcohol with other addictive substances
- Drinking to manage emotional stress or trauma
There’s never a wrong time to seek out help, support, and recovery.
Turning Point of Tampa has been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987.