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Updated on September 14, 2023
5 min read

Alcohol Awareness Month

What Can You Expect From Alcohol Awareness Month?

While some people can naturally limit the amount of alcohol they consume, others may experience a strong desire to continue drinking. Alcoholism is a prevalent issue that affects everyone regardless of age.

Here are five facts about alcoholism:

  1. Sixty million people ages 12 and older (21.5% in this age group) reported binge drinking in the past month.4
  2. Six hundred thirteen thousand people ages 12 to 20 (1.6% in this age group) reported heavy alcohol use in the past month.5
  3. Twenty-nine million people ages 12 and older (10.6% in this age group) had AUD in the past year.6
  4. Alcohol contributes to approximately 18.5% of emergency department visits and 22.1% of overdose deaths related to prescription opioids.7
  5. Approximately 10.5% (7.5 million) of U.S. children ages 17 and younger live with a parent who has an alcohol use disorder.8

In response to these real-life statistics, Alcohol Awareness Month hosts events and campaigns to combat alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD).


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What Is Alcohol Awareness Month?

The National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) created Alcohol Awareness Month in April 1987, and the program continues to be celebrated yearly since then. Alcohol Awareness Month includes local, state, and national events and campaigns dedicated to: 

  • Increasing awareness of the causes and effects of alcoholism
  • Providing resources for families struggling with drinking problems
  • Reaching populations who may need more clarification on the dangers of unhealthy drinking habits
  • Encouraging recovery by challenging stigmas related to alcohol addiction

Alcohol Awareness Month targets all ages, with programming focused primarily on college-aged adults.

What Happens During Alcohol Awareness Month?

Throughout April, the NCADD works with schools, churches, public programs, and advocacy groups nationwide to educate people about alcohol misuse and treatment options. Month-long programming includes: 

  • National Alcohol-Free Weekend
  • Educational events and social media campaigns
  • Interactive resources exploring the causes, effects, and treatment options for AUD
  • Resources for families dealing with AUD
  • Story-sharing opportunities to encourage community building around AUD recovery

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Why Is Alcohol Awareness Month Significant?

Alcohol-related cases take more than 140,000 lives nationwide every year, making alcohol addiction one of the leading public health crises in the United States.3 NCADD’s National Alcohol Awareness Month is significant because:

  • It promotes alcohol misuse prevention efforts among youth and adults
  • It encourages people struggling with addiction to seek the support needed for recovery 
  • It advances awareness of the impacts of alcohol and substance abuse on one’s life
  • It reminds people struggling with alcohol consumption that they are not alone
  • It changes societal attitudes about AUD, addiction, and mental health disorders

The month-long program provides an opportunity for people to understand what healthy alcohol consumption looks like. Many people, especially college-aged adults, do not realize they struggle with alcohol use because our culture normalizes excessive drinking.


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What Is the Number One Cause of Alcoholism?

While many factors drive a person toward alcohol and drug abuse, the leading causes of alcoholism are genetics and physiology.

Abundant evidence indicates that alcoholism is a complex genetic disease affecting a person’s risk for AUD. If these genes pass down through generations, family members are much more prone to developing an alcohol addiction.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?

Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of AUD helps you recognize whether you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol.

Warning signs of AUD 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 your alcohol use might be a problem
  • Desiring alcohol upon waking up in the morning
  • Struggling to have fun if alcohol is not involved in an event
  • Using alcohol to feel relaxed or at ease
  • Using alcohol to relieve stress or deal with mental health issues

How Can I Participate in Alcohol Awareness Month?

Whether you engage with local organizations or get involved in nationwide social media campaigns, there are many ways to participate in and support Alcohol Awareness Month. Here’s how: 

1. Wear a Red Ribbon

Make a red ribbon pin at home or buy one online to support Alcohol Awareness Month. If somebody asks you what the ribbon means, spread the word about the program.

2. Participate in Alcohol-Free Weekends

The NCADD encourages widespread participation in an alcohol-free weekend on the first annual weekend in April. If abstaining from alcohol is difficult for the weekend, it can point to needing professional treatment.

3. Engage in Social Media Campaigns

Many organizations create educational graphics and copy-and-paste content for people to share online during Alcohol Awareness Month. You can repost these resources or create your own to advance the month-long program’s reach and impact.

4. Host Alcohol-Free Parties

Host alcohol-free parties in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month. There are more exciting non-alcoholic drinks from stores or at-home recipes to explore now than ever.

5. Talk About the Dangers of Alcohol

Engaging in conversation with the youth about the dangers of alcohol consumption can help prevent underage drinking and binge drinking

6. Talk to Family or Friends

If a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, Alcohol Awareness Month can be an excellent container to spark difficult but critical conversations about alcohol misuse and recovery. You can find resources for these types of discussions in this article.

7. Evaluate Your Relationship with Alcohol

Reflect on your alcohol consumption. Abstain from drinking for a weekend or longer and analyze your reactions. Utilize an app to track your drinking habits throughout the month.

8. Participate in Alcohol Awareness Training Programs

Alcohol Awareness Training programs educate people on serving and consuming alcohol responsibly. Many of these programs target people in the hospitality industry but provide helpful information for anyone who drinks alcohol to understand.


Cases of injuries and illnesses from alcohol-related causes continue to be prevalent in the US. For this reason, Alcohol Awareness Month is hosted every year by The National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).

Month-long programming includes educational events, public engagement, and interactive resources to raise awareness around alcohol use. 

Local, statewide, and national campaigns aim to provide resources for families struggling with alcohol addiction, contribute to alcohol-use prevention efforts, and de-stigmatize alcohol addiction to promote recovery.

Updated on September 14, 2023
8 sources cited
Updated on September 14, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Is Alcohol Awareness Training Necessary?” Hospitality Insurance Group, 2017.
  2. Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2014. 
  3. Understanding Alcohol’s Adverse Impact on Health.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2023.
  4. Alcohol Use in the United States: Age Groups and Demographic Characteristics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2023.
  5. Underage Drinking in the United States (ages 12 to 20).” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2023.
  6. Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States: Age Groups and Demographic Characteristics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2023.
  7. Alcohol-Related Emergencies and Deaths in the United States.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2023.
  8. Consequences for Families in the United States.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2023.
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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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