According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 80,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The NIAAA also reports that 18 million Americans have an alcohol disorder but only 1 in 4 people with such a disorder receives treatment.
Every April, health-related organizations, healthcare providers, and communities across the nation raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol and promote alcohol abuse prevention during Alcohol Awareness Month. Sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) since 1987 and observed throughout the month of April, Alcohol Awareness Month also aims to reduce the stigma that surrounds alcohol abuse and keeps individuals and families from seeking help.
Alcohol Awareness Month also celebrates those individuals and families who have sought help, recovered, and now live healthy, happy, alcohol-free lives.
One way that Alcohol Awareness Month sponsors raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting individuals, families, and communities is through Alcohol Free Weekend, which takes place on the first weekend of April. For three days, everyone is invited to remain alcohol-free. Anyone who finds it difficult to do so is encouraged to seek help.
During the month of April, be on the lookout for Alcohol Awareness Month events and activities in your community or visit www.ncadd.org to find NCADD Affiliate-sponsored events in your area. There are many other ways to observe Alcohol Awareness Month, too. Check out the list below for ideas!
- Extend Alcohol Free Weekend for the entire month to get an even better idea of how much alcohol you drink and how it affects you both physically and mentally
- Prevent alcohol abuse for the next generation by starting an honest, ongoing conversation with your kids about the dangers of alcohol, underage drinking, and alcohol abuse
- Seek help from a NCADD Affiliate in your area, Alcoholics Anonymous, or a healthcare provider if you feel you or someone you love are/is abusing alcohol
- Use social media or your blog to spread the word about Alcohol Awareness Month as well as the dangers of alcohol abuse and the benefits of seeking help
- Host an alcohol-free event with friends and family or even your entire community to show people, especially teens, that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time