Alcohol Awareness Month Brings Light to Alcoholism

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Alcohol Awareness month gives crucial attention to the collective health and social concerns associated with alcohol consumption’s harmful effects. Dating back centuries, Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) have a long history of destroying families in the U.S. Alcohol Awareness Month reminds us all about our progress and failures in battling alcoholism. 

Beginning in 1987, each April, the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month, to bring light to alcoholism and its devastating effects. This year’s theme (2022) is: For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction. The NCADD encourages the use of this theme as communities increase their efforts to inform residents about treatments and sobriety.

Why did the NCADD start Alcohol Awareness month?

Much of the energy surrounding the NCADD and its events come from the original Temperance Movement. A century ago, the 18th Amendment banned alcohol in the U.S. because of the public and social effects of the day. Sadly, the public health threat caused by alcohol consumption has only gotten worse over the past century.

Alcoholism is a Leading Public Health Threat

Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) cost the United States billions of dollars in lost workplace productivity. According to the CDC, overdrinking is slowly draining the U.S. economy because of hangovers and other related conditions. Losing even a day of income could put many families out on the street at the household level. 

Devastates At-Risk Communities

It seems that in many economically challenged communities with already high unemployment rates, residents find the money for cheap alcohol before they spend money on food. One study of clusters of economically challenged communities shows that poverty is a predictive measure for alcohol abuse.

Alcoholism and Physical Health

Alcoholism isn’t just a problem faced by the economically challenged. From a public health perspective, alcoholism has adverse effects on the rich and middle alike. Alcoholism is the third-leading cause of preventable illnesses and deaths in the U.S. Health officials estimate that around 88,000 people will die each year from alcohol-related deaths. 

The CDC notes that alcoholism reduces life expectancy by around 26-years. It is preventable diseases, like liver disease, that place the most stress on the workforce. Long-term health effects include social and mental health issues, immune system degradation, and so on. Alcohol Awareness Month makes sure these issues don’t fall through the cracks in our public culture.

Alcohol Awareness Month Activities

Broadly, Alcohol Awareness Month has three objectives. First is the all-important shedding of light on the devastating effects of alcoholism. Second, alcohol use and abuse carry stigmas that are destructive to treatments because they are false. Labels like “lazy” and “lack of willpower” aren’t causes of alcoholism. Finally, Alcohol Awareness Month helps local communities focus on alcohol-related issues with social media campaigns and other outreach efforts.


The Alcohol-Free-Weekend is designed to give those who drink regularly a chance to feel and begin to understand sobriety as a way of life. Many have chosen the weekend Easter Weekend in recent years for obvious reasons. In truth, during Alcohol Awareness Month, any week works. 

A Stern word of warning: Some individuals dealing with an alcohol addiction face serious health concerns when they quit drinking abruptly. For example, DTs sometimes kick in after 2-3 days. But it could be sooner! So be careful and call for help if you need it!

Using Social Media at the Community-Level

Since 1987, Alcohol Awareness Month has been spearheading the delivery of valuable alcohol-related health information and ways to stay sober. In the beginning, this meant advertising in local health departments and other community-based social service agencies. While this type of outreach still exists, social media outreach campaigns have proven effective. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publishes toolkits that help local communities get Alcohol Awareness Month information to community residents. The latest is from 2019, which is still valid for outreach purposes. Conversely, most local health department web pages have specific details on current Alcohol Awareness Month activities. 

Get Involved

The NCADD started Alcohol Awareness Month to facilitate public involvement in helping our communities cope with alcoholism. Designed for recognition at the local level, April features information collected at the national level so communities can learn and measure their progress from year-to-year. 

Getting involved in Alcohol Awareness Month means you participate in a public health treatment that puts public health initiatives in the public consciousness. You can try sobriety any time. However, when you try sobriety with millions of other people, the results at the local level start to be reflected in people’s social media messages. 

Collectively, these messages make a difference, particularly among young people who have a risk of binge drinking. One person, one community at a time, is the only way to combat alcoholism.  Please call (385) 200-9042 or 385-445-7050 to learn more about Rising Ridge Recovery’s programs and services.

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