April is Alcohol Awareness Month, which has been sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) since 1987. The purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month is to increase public understanding and reduce the social stigmas surrounding alcohol addiction.
This month also gives communities the opportunity to focus on alcohol-related issues, which often aren’t talked about on a regular basis.
In fact, many people admit that they are unaware of the valuable treatment services within their own communities or how to find them. Would you know where to look for affordable alcohol addiction treatment?
Alcohol Awareness 2016 Focuses On Teen Alcohol Use
This year’s theme is, “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.” In support of this theme, communities from coast to coast will be educating people on the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly in teens.
Parents need to understand that they play an important role in preventing alcohol abuse. With support services at the local, state and federal levels, parents can learn about how to be positive role models for their teens.
Why Teen Drinking Is Concerning
For parents, adolescence is not an easy time. Many parents can recall themselves experimenting with drinking and think, “Well I turned out OK.” That’s why some parents choose to sit back and assume that their teen will just “get through it.” Some will. But some won’t.
What if your child was one of the ones who became addicted? Wouldn’t you want to help them now?
Alcohol use by young people is particularly dangerous. It’s associated with a higher risk of traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, overdose, unsafe sex, failing out of school and other trouble behaviors. Experimenting with alcohol at a young age also makes it more likely for a teen to develop an addiction.
According to the NCADD, young people who drink before the age of 15 are 5 times more likely to develop a dependency compared to those who don’t start drinking until they are 21 or older.
Shocking Alcohol Stats
According to NCADD, more than 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and other drugs. This affects millions of people, considering that parents, family members, friends and neighbors are ultimately affected by drug and alcohol abuse.
Here are a few more stats to know for Alcohol Awareness Month, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
- Each year, more than 1,800 college students between the ages of 18-24 die from unintentional injuries while being under the influence.
- Nearly 600,000 students (18-24) receive unintentional injuries while under the influence.
- More than 690,000 students (18-24) are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
- More than 97,000 students (18-24) are victims of alcohol-induced date rape or sexual assault.
- In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that over 10,000 people died in drunk driving crashes.
- In the state of Maryland, 30.3% of all traffic deaths are from drunk driving, according to MADD.org.
Take The Alcohol-Free Weekend Test
One of the most important parts of Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend. Choose a weekend in April where you or you and your friends commit to not drinking. Plan other fun and sober events such as a BBQ, hiking, day at the zoo, board game and movie night etc.
The NCADD invites everyone of every age to engage in three alcohol-free days. If you or someone you love cannot do this, or begins to experience discomfort within these 72 hours, you are urged to call a local NCADD affiliate, Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon to get help.
Customized And Affordable Alcohol Addiction Treatment In Maryland
If it is found that you or a loved one needs professional help, take time exploring the different programs available. Customized treatment is ideal because it will address your unique needs and the underlying components of your addiction. Rarely is addiction just a physical problem, which is why detox is not effective on its own. Individual counseling, group therapy and lifestyle modifications are necessary for change to occur.
Maryland Recovery is here for you. We offer compassionate treatment in a holistic setting. Not only are our programs affordable, but also, we work with insurance companies. Our research-backed programs are ones that many insurance companies will pay for. Call us today to learn more.
Dr. Bhalavat is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, and provides inpatient evaluation and consultation services at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital, Maryland Recovery Partners, and Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhalavat’s background includes treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and dementia.