Alcohol Awareness Month April 2019: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”
Information Provided By: Facing Addiction with NCADD
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.
More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol.
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can affect all aspects of a person’s life. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health complications, can damage emotional stability, finances, career, and impact one’s family, friends and community.
Facts About Alcohol
- 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use
- Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation
- Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death
- Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption
- Employers: Alcohol-related problems and alcoholism cost employers billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, accidents and poor job performance.
- Despite the legal drinking age of 21, people age 12 to 20 years drink 13 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S., more than 90 percent of which is in the form of binge drinking.
- Parents – If you think your child is drinking just to “have a good time,” think again: many kids drink alone because they are bored or depressed. This puts them at greater risk for developing alcoholism.
- Drinking is associated with the leading causes of death among young people, including car crashes, murder and suicide.
- Even though most teenagers know that you should not drink and drive, nearly a third still accept rides from drivers who have been drinking.
Over time, excessive alcohol use, both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, can lead to numerous health problems, chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems, including but not limited to:
- Dementia, stroke and neuropathy
- Cardiovascular problems, including myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and hypertension
- Psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide
- Social problems, including unemployment, lost productivity, family problems, violence including child maltreatment, fights and homicide
- Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries.
- Increased risk for many kinds of cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (voice box) and esophagus
- Liver diseases, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis
- Gastrointestinal problems, including pancreatitis and gastritis
- Alcohol abuse or dependence – alcoholism.
Alcoholism has little to do with what kind of alcohol one drinks, how long one has been drinking, or even exactly how much alcohol one consumes. But it has a great deal to do with a person’s uncontrollable need for alcohol. Most alcoholics can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking. The alcoholic is frequently in the grip of a powerful craving for alcohol, a need that can feel as strong as the need for food or water. While some people are able to recover without help, the majority of alcoholics need outside assistance to recover from their disease. Yet, with support and treatment, many are able to stop drinking and reclaim their lives.
Alcohol-Free Weekend To Be Observed April 5-7, 2019
Alcohol Awareness Month, founded and sponsored by Facing Addiction with NCADD since 1987, is a national grassroots effort observed by communities throughout the United States to support prevention, research, education, intervention, treatment and recovery from alcoholism and alcohol-related problems
During Alcohol-Free Weekend (April 5-7, 2019), Facing Addiction with NCADD and John Lynch & Associates ask parents and other adults to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages for a 72-hour period to demonstrate that alcohol isn’t necessary to have a good time. If participants find it difficult to go without alcohol during this period, they are urged to reach out to the following:
- Facing Addiction with NCADD: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.facingaddiction.org HOPE LINE: 800 NCA-CALL (24-hour Affiliate referral)
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): http://www.aa.org/
- Al-Anon Family Groups: https://al-anon.org/
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/
- College Drinking: Changing the Culture (NIAAA): https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/
- Stop Underage Drinking: Portal of Federal Resources: https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Alcohol and Public Health: https://www.cdc.gov/Alcohol/
- Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth: http://www.camy.org/
- Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS): https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/