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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The NIAAA Will Host a TWITTER CHAT About Holiday Drinking

The holiday season is here…

Just about 12 days ago we gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving. We may have had just a quiet celebration with our immediate family members, or maybe we traveled a long distance to be with extended family. It could be we couldn’t be home for the holiday so we found ourselves with a few friends or maybe just one good friend. Many people this year had to work on Thanksgiving and some may have volunteered to feed the homeless. When all things are considered it is a beautiful time of the year, and yet so many of us worry that our loved ones may drink too much or maybe we worry about our own propensity to drink too much.

After all, Christmas is just two and one-half weeks away followed by the New Years Eve holiday. There will be company parties, informal gatherings, and family get-togethers. And in most households alcohol will be served. So we thought today we would share a new resource to learn more about alcohol and the holidays.

 

NIAAA to host Twitter Chat about holiday drinking

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) will host a Twitter Chat on December 12, 2013, at 3:00PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). The topic is:

“Alcohol & the Holidays: What you Need to Know”

The chat will be co-hosted by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc (NCADD) and the scientific expert will be Dr. Aaron White, Ph.D. To participate or to just follow along utilize the hashtag #NIAAAChat

Chat topics to be discussed

According to the NIAAA website the topics to be covered will be:

  • If you choose to drink, how to celebrate safely
  • Stats about drunk driving
  • Evidence based advice for any who are considering reducing their drinking in the New Year
  • After affects of a night of too much drinking

You can also choose to follow both @NIAAAnews and @NCADDNational on Twitter. But remember, you do not need to follow either one to participate in the CHAT.

Do you know what a Twitter Chat is?

Simply put, a Twitter Chat is an interactive conversation at a specific time on Twitter. If you have a Twitter profile, then you may be familiar with or have participated in a Twitter Chat. Basically you take the following steps:

1. Sign into your Twitter account about 10 minutes before the scheduled chat.
2. In the search box type in the #NIAAAChat and search for results
3. You will see results like this:

4. The results will keep updating as the chat proceeds. 5. You can choose to reply, retweet, ask a question, BUT in order to participate your tweet MUST include the hashtag #NIAAAChat; otherwise the other participants will not see your tweets. It can move quickly, don’t be nervous…just watch the conversation.

Here is the good news. If you cannot participate at the appointed time of 3:00PM EST, then you can always sign into your Twitter account, search for the hashtag #NIAAAChat and read the transcript at your leisure.

Why is this Twitter Chat important?

It is important to understand a few statistics regarding alcohol use in the United States. According the NCADD website:

“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.”

In today’s quick paced world, social media has become one more resource for people to learn and gather information about the disease of addiction, particularly alcoholism.

Wishing you a beautiful and healthy holiday season…

One final word, as you prepare to celebrate the holidays, we would like to remind you that it is often during the holiday season that family members realize that an intervention is needed for their loved one. Remember an interventionist is a mediator and necessary component to getting the loved one into a suitable drug and alcohol treatment program. Often, this is too great of a feat for the family and loved ones to do on their own because they are too emotionally involved with and impacted by the addict’s behaviors and despair. Interventionists provide knowledge where there is confusion, clarity where there is fog, solution where there is dismay and hope where there is despair.

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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