April is Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol has been a strong presence in civilizations throughout the history of mankind for ritualistic, religious, traditional, and social purposes.
The dangers of Alcohol are often distorted within the stigma and its social acceptability. But Alcohol is a dangerous drug that kills approximately 88,000 Americans annually according to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence established April as Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987 and it is still the running strong. The NCADD focuses on correcting the common misconceptions of Alcohol and informing the public of its inherent dangers through community outreach.
The Council also sets its sights on educating those who may be struggling with Alcohol dependency.
Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that can result in permanent physical and psychological damage as well as death if left untreated.
Alcohol also tends to accompany physical abuse. A UCLA study showed that 4 in 10 violent crimes involved alcohol.
Treatment and recovery are available for those who are suffering. The NCADD is adamant about making people aware that there is help and people do recover from this disease.
Alcohol dependent people are often ashamed of their problem which leads to a mental state of denial and or self-loathing. These feelings perpetuate the vicious cycle of Alcohol abuse.
Alcoholics have been shamed and condemned throughout history as because it is often thought of as a link to crime and a result of moral bankruptcy.
Alcoholism is a Disease
What we know to be true about alcohol today thanks to modern medicine and research, contradicts the antiquated perception. It is not a crime or moral deficiency, rather a mental illness that can be treated.
Institutionalization and imprisonment have been the main forms of treating alcoholics and drug addicts. This has been proven to not only be inhumane as it is a disease, but ineffective. Nearly 60 percent of people who are incarcerated return to jail within a year of being released. This does not include crimes that are a result of substance abuse such as theft.
Incarceration does not yield long-term solutions, to the contrary, it only damages the psyche of alcoholics and addicts, making them highly susceptible to reverting back old behaviors.
Since it is a medical condition, it should be treated as such. Drug and alcohol treatment has proven to be a much more valid solution. Helping the alcoholic address his or her internal conflicts and social ills yields a higher rate of long-term sobriety.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence wants to make sure the denizens of the United States know that treatment is readily available.
Let’s Join the Fight Against Alcoholism
The key component of Alcohol Awareness Month is the Alcohol-Free Weekend. The NCADD requests that citizens abstain from alcohol consumption on the first weekend of April in order to further bring awareness about this problem.
Let’s not pretend that this is not a deadly disease just because we may not have the problem specifically, because chances are, one of our loved ones very well may.
Alcohol Awareness Month provides the opportunity to practice community participation with the purpose of showing those who may be suffering that we understand what they are going through and they have our full support. This positive reinforcement may very well save lives.
We must make our best efforts to do what we can to improve every aspect of our community including alcoholism. So put down the remote control and the beer and get involved. We are in this fight together.