While many individuals drink an occasional alcoholic beverage, others are unable to control their drinking. Alcohol addiction has been a problem throughout history, and this still holds today. While it is still difficult for many alcoholics to ask for help due to the stigma, that is beginning to change. Over the years, the medical community has tried to overcome the stigma by listing alcoholism as a disease, rather than a moral failing. Through AA and other self-help groups, alcoholics are finally finding the help they deserve. This month is Alcohol Awareness month; an entire month dedicated to alcoholism and recovery.
What is Alcohol Awareness Month?
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence launched a program to encourage public awareness of alcoholism in 1987. Its original intent was to help college students who frequently engaged in binge-drinking as a result of their newfound Photo Credit: Pexels
sense of freedom.
Over time, the movement has brought awareness of all forms of problem drinking to the general public. As a result, families, and communities have the resources and knowledge to acquire help for alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Awareness Month provides the chance for all health-related fields to improve efforts to reach potential and current alcoholics. These individuals do not always understand how harmful their drinking habits are, and how much they impact their loved ones. Social media and other online tools are used to promote this month and encourage alcoholics to reach out for help.
What to Know About Alcoholism in the United States
Here are some sobering stats to know about alcohol abuse in the U.S. –
· 86% of people aged 18 or over claim to have drunk alcohol at some point in their lives.
· 69% of people claim that they drank in the last year
· 25% of people aged 18 and over engaged in binge drinking in the past month
· People who binge drink are twice as likely to have a visit to the emergency room
· 14.5 million people in the United States have alcohol use disorder
· 414,000 adolescents aged 12-17 struggle with alcohol use disorder
· Alcohol contributes to 22% of overdose deaths
· Liver disease, heart disease, stroke, and various cancers are the biggest diseases caused by alcoholism
Resources for Alcohol Abuse
If you are struggling with alcohol abuse, you are not alone. Thankfully, there are several resources available to get you started on recovery. These include –
· Straight Talk Clinic, Inc. – Straight Talk Clinic specializes in addiction, anxiety, depression, and other mental health service. They offer teletherapy and work with local communities to provide resources. Please contact 714-828-2000 or visit straighttalkcounseling.org.
· National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) – Conducts research, offers resources, and influences health providers and policymakers. Please visit niaaa.nih.gov or call 301-443-3860.
· National Institute of Mental Health – Paves the way for prevention, recovery, and cures for mental health disorders, including alcoholism. Please visit nimh.nih.gov or call 301-443-4513.
· Center for Substance Abuse Treatment – Supports treatment services through block programs. Offers a 24-hour referral hotline for treatment. Please visit samhsa.gov.
· Alcoholics Anonymous – Offers meetings around the world, resources, and other forms of assistance. Please visit aa.org to find a local chapter and meeting times.
Don’t Be Ashamed – Get Help
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you struggle with an alcohol use disorder. Millions of people around the world suffer from the same condition – and they have recovered. Please contact one of these resources above or visit a local AA meeting. Experts agree that individuals who find a sponsor and follow the plan outlined in the 12 steps have the best chance for recovery.
Do you struggle with alcoholism? Are you feeling ashamed and afraid to seek help? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.