April Is Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month, founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), kicks off its 31st year this April. The NCADD originally established this month-long national event in 1987 as a way to bring greater national attention to the problem of alcoholism and alcohol abuse.
Considering that more than 17.6 million Americans currently struggle with alcoholism, the need for awareness and information about alcohol’s lifelong consequences is as great as ever.
The Truth About Alcohol Abuse Denial
One major reason that alcohol abuse awareness is so important in the United States is because such a large portion of the population either over-consumes or has become physically dependent on this substance. In fact, a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are excessive drinkers.
Considering that the number of adults who drink heavily is considerably larger than the number of people seeking treatment for alcoholism, it is reasonable to assume that many individuals are unwilling to acknowledge how their lives have become dependent on alcohol. Unfortunately, this denial can be deadly.
Lack of Awareness Encourages Alcohol Abuse
One of the reasons that denial is such a major point of focus during Alcohol Awareness Month is because the culture’s understanding of alcoholism (or lack thereof) actually encourages individuals to stay in denial about their drinking problem.
Clearing up misconceptions about alcohol abuse and a better understanding of the consequences can actually motivate individuals to be more open about their problem and then seek help when they need it.
Unfortunately, society’s perception of alcoholism is woefully limited. Most people conceptualize an alcoholic as a sloppy or violent lush. Because most individuals who struggle to control their intake of alcohol do not resemble this caricature, they are very resistant to the idea that their behavior qualifies them as an alcoholic.
Most people don’t relate to the alcoholics we see on television or in movies. They work a steady job, spend time with their families and haven’t let their addiction ruin their finances. When someone confronts them about their drinking, they are unlikely to compare themselves to these caricatures and are more likely to interpret the accusation as unfair.
As a result, helping family and friends in the midst of a deep denial check into treatment can be a major challenge.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
Most families will need assistance when it comes to convincing a loved one that he or she has a problem with alcohol. That’s where Family First Intervention can help. Our professional interventionists are experienced communicators who are familiar with the emotional and physical challenges faced by alcohol abusers.
Often, the input of an outside party is very effective when it comes to helping those struggling with alcoholism to understand that they have a serious problem. Family First’s intervention specialists work in all 50 states, and can easily meet clients where they live and perform an intervention in their home or another venue of their choosing.
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