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What is Alcohol Awareness Month?
Alcohol Awareness month draws attention to the issue of alcohol use disorder (AUD). The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) created Alcohol Awareness Month in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding AUD. It began in April 1987 and has occurred annually since then.
Those who want to observe Alcohol Awareness Month should abstain from drinking during the first weekend of April. If this is difficult for you, consider seeking further guidance from an addiction specialist or your doctor.
What to Expect During Alcohol Awareness Month
The NCADD organizes several different events throughout April for Alcohol Awareness Month. The organization works with schools, churches, and advocacy groups throughout the country to educate people about AUD and the treatment options available to them.
The events also focus on eliminating the stigma of alcoholism. Many believe people’s attitudes about AUD are one of the primary factors in why so few people seek the treatment they need.
The group’s goals involve:
- Changing the language about AUD and other addictions
- Sharing stories with others so everyone can see how common it is to be affected by the disorder
- Challenging those who discriminate against people with AUD to take a more open-minded approach and understand more about addiction
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Why is Alcohol Awareness Month Important?
Alcohol Awareness Month is important because it encourages people struggling with addiction to seek the support needed for recovery. It helps people learn more about AUD and reminds people struggling with alcohol consumption that they are not alone.
The month is a way for people to hear the stories of those struggling with AUD. It helps people with alcohol issues and their family members understand that recovery is nothing to be ashamed of. It also aims to change societal attitudes about AUD, addiction, and mental health issues.
Lastly, the month provides an opportunity for people to realize that they might be using alcohol as a crutch or to self-medicate. Many people are struggling with alcohol use and don’t even realize it because our society is open to excessive drinking.
“Alcohol-Free Weekend” is a great way for someone to evaluate how they are using alcohol or any other addictive substance and to determine whether or not they need to make a change.
Alcohol Awareness Training Information
An Alcohol Awareness Training program educates people about how to consume alcohol responsibly. Many of these programs target people in the hospitality industry who serve alcohol to others. It’s also helpful information for anyone who drinks alcohol to understand.
In many places, over-serving patrons can result in fines, loss of an establishment’s liquor license, and even jail time. Business owners are at risk and responsible for ensuring that people do not drink too much when they are in their establishment.
Alcohol Awareness Training aims to prevent intoxication, high-risk behavior related to alcohol, and underage drinking. Programs offer information about how to recognize when serving alcohol is problematic. It also teaches those in the hospitality industry how to communicate with people about alcohol service.
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Warning Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
In most cases, there are warning signs of AUD. Knowing these warning signs helps recognize whether you or someone else has a problem with alcohol.
Some AUD warning signs include:
- Frequently drinking alone
- Binge drinking
- Hiding alcohol use from loved ones or lying about alcohol use
- Attempting to curb drinking or stop drinking and failing
- Hearing from other people that alcohol use might be a problem
- Having a desire to drink upon waking up in the morning
- Struggling to have fun if alcohol is not involved in the situation
- Using alcohol to feel relaxed or at ease
- Using alcohol to relieve stress or deal with mental health issues
Questions About Addiction Treatment?
There are several treatment options available to people struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Some of the most common treatment options and resources include:
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Prescription medications are administered by a doctor. They are used to stop or reduce drinking and prevent relapse. Medication is typically used in combination with other types of treatment.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and 12-step programs offer peer support and guidance to help someone with a drinking problem. In many instances, these programs are part of a comprehensive treatment plan. They help support recovery on an ongoing basis.
Behavioral therapy helps people with AUD get to the root of their relationship with alcohol by exploring the factors that affect their drinking. It teaches them how to change their thoughts and feelings about alcohol. They will also learn how to manage the triggers that lead to drinking.
Behavioral treatments include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Motivation enhancement therapy
- Marriage and family counseling
If you or a loved one has a problem with drinking, you don’t need to wait until April to address the issue.