April 2019 is the 33rd annual alcohol awareness month and is sponsored by NCADD. This year’s theme for Alcohol Awareness Month is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”.
The goal of Alcohol Awareness Month is to educate everyone possible about the dangers of abusing alcohol, increase awareness, and to encourage people to reach out to the public about recovery and help reduce the stigma associated with the disease of alcoholism.
What is alcohol addiction?
Alcohol addiction, as described by NCADD, is “a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated.” Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), as described by NIAAA, is a “chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.”
Alcohol Awareness by the Numbers:
- More than 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year in the U.S. and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL).
- Impaired driving from alcohol accounts for more than 30% of all driving-related fatalities per year.
- 90% of alcohol consumed by teens involves binge drinking.
- 189,000 Emergency Room visits in 2010 were related to underage drinking.
- Teens drink and drive approximately 2.4 million times a month.
- Alcohol misuse in 2010 alone cost the U.S. $249 billion.
- More than 10% of U.S. children live in a home with alcohol issues.
- 1,825 college students die between the ages of 18-24 from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.
- 97,000 students ages 18-24 report experiencing alcohol-related date rape or sexual assault.
- in 2015, 47% of liver disease deaths of people between 12 years of age and older involved alcohol.
- In 2009, 1 in 3 liver transplants in the U.S. was given to someone with liver disease due to alcohol.
- Only 8.3% of adults with AUD sought treatment.
Common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse often leads to quite a few negative outcomes that can alter or end a person’s life. A pattern of drinking that hinders relationships and the ability to work are just a couple of signs that a person is abusing alcohol.
Below are some common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:
- The desire to cut down on drinking and/or making unsuccessful attempts to do so
- Feeling a strong desire to drink alcohol
- Reducing the amount of social interaction including work activities and hobbies
- Drinking in situations that are unsafe, like driving or swimming
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol, eventually needing more to feel the desired effects
- Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, shaking, and sweating when you are without alcohol, or drinking to avoid these symptoms
- Failing to fulfill work, school, or home obligations\
- and more…
Are you concerned that you may be addicted to alcohol or your use of alcohol and other drugs? If so, you can take a self-assessment test to determine if you or someone you know is at risk of alcohol or other drug addictions and is in need of immediate assistance.
- CDC – Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use and Your Health – Jan 3, 2018
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA – NIH)