April 4-6, 2014 Is “Alcohol Free Weekend” ~ Will you participate?

Are you willing to participate in Alcohol Free Weekend?

To many people this question may seem very benign. That is, not indulging in alcohol for a weekend is a very simple goal to accomplish. It could be they never drink or they seldom drink. But for many adults, young and old alike, as well as a growing number of teenagers drinking every weekend is what they do when they get together with their friends and family or it could be what they do when they are isolated from friends and family.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD):

  • Annually, over 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured.
  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s young people, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—about 4.65 a day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.

So, again, are you willing to not drink alcohol starting today April 4 through April 6, 2014?

Alcohol Free Weekend is a part of Alcohol Awareness Month

 

28 years ago the NCADD started the tradition of April being Alcohol Awareness Month. It was designed to increase public awareness as well as understanding of the stigma of alcoholism and to encourage local communities to turn a lens on alcoholism and alcohol related issues.

Throughout the month of April 2014 there will be events going on across the nation that will highlight the public health issue of alcoholism in general and specifically the problems associated with underage drinking.

You should know that many communities have local NCADD Affiliates; these affiliates can serve as a valuable resource for individuals, families, employers, schools, and the like.

“Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow”

Again this year’s theme “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow” encapsulates the vision and goal that every family wants to experience when dealing with a loved one who is suffering from the disease of alcoholism. Typically a family will look for help for today from other family members, their doctors, co-workers, an employee assistance program (EAP) or a friend, but help may need to come in the form of arranging for an intervention.

Greg Muth, the chairperson of the NCADD Board of Directors discusses the focus on underage drinkers:

“Underage drinking is a complex issue one that can only be solved through a sustained and cooperative effort. As a nation, we need to wake up to the reality that for some, alcoholism and addiction develop at a young age and that intervention, treatment, and recovery support are essential for them and their families. We can’t afford to wait any longer.”

A successful intervention can, and often does, provide the hope for tomorrow.

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Alcohol Awareness Month 2013 ~ Help For Today Hope For Tommorrow

Help for today…Hope for tomorrow

April is Alcohol Awareness Month! If you read your local newspaper or watch your local evening news, then there is a good chance that over the next few days you will see or read a news story that deals with Alcohol Awareness Month. If your life has never been impacted by alcohol, then there is a good chance you will pay no attention to these new stories; however, according to the National Council On Alcoholism And Drug Dependence, Inc, (NCADD) many Americans have experience with alcohol and the disease of alcoholism:

“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.”

 

More about Alcohol Awareness Month

NCADD has been sponsoring Alcohol Awareness Month since 1987. The goal of Alcohol Awareness Month is to increase the public’s understanding of alcohol and alcoholism by trying to reduce the stigma that can prevent one from seeking help and/or treatment. During the month of April 2013 communities will work to provide information highlighting the public health issue of underage drinking, thus their theme: “Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.”  Here are a few statistics provided by NCADD’s press release:

  •  Annually, over 6,500
    people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related injuries and thousands more are
    injured.
  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s young people, and is
    more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first
    drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop
    alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—about 4.65 a
    day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.

When the next step is an intervention…

Awareness can be the first step: aware that your loved one has a problem with alcohol or is abusing other substances (both legal and illegal). The next step may be an intervention.

The intervention process begins by having a conversation with the interventionist about the loved one you would like to help. Because of great experience in addiction and recovery, the interventionist has heard it all – there are no stories or situations that haven’t already been heard and no story or situation will be judged, it will all be kept with the utmost level of confidentiality. Although it seems trifling to tell personal details to someone you don’t know, upon sharing your situation your reservation will be met with warmth and understanding and the weight you feel will begin to lift as solutions are proposed.

Remember, as the NCADD offers: “In fact, millions of individuals and family members are living lives in long-term recovery from alcoholism!”

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