To attract the attention of local communities to the detrimental effects of alcoholism and alcohol-related issues, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence declared the month of April as Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987. Ever since then, Alcohol Awareness Month has continued to reach out to the American public with a valuable message regarding alcoholism — that it is not a moral fault but a treatable condition that can be successfully cured. The message emphasizes the fact that alcoholics are capable of complete recovery no matter how bad their addiction is.
Why Is Alcoholism A Serious Issue?
Most people consider alcoholism as an adult problem. However, one study conducted by NASD (National Alcohol Screening Day) states that about 20 percent of eighth graders, 35 percent of tenth graders and 48 percent of twelfth graders regularly consume alcohol. Due to the secret nature of alcohol use, it often goes unchecked or even unnoticed by guardians. Being unaware of the health risks and eager to gain peer acceptance, many kids and teens take to alcohol consumption that may eventually lead to issues like drunk driving, drug use and sexual assault.
Other groups of alcohol abusers prevalent in the United States include:
- Professionals who regularly drink after a long, tiring day of work.
- Pregnant women who consume alcohol, obviously being unaware that their babies face a higher risk of developing fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Senior citizens who drink heavily out of loneliness.
Alcohol Use Among Kids And Teens
It has been noted that kids and teens who suffer from anxiety or depression often resort to alcohol consumption as a self-medication method. Kids who are isolated from the protective and understanding atmosphere of a family system may not have any other positive connections to keep them away from alcohol-involved peer groups. In addition, kids with weak coping skills, school-related stress or alcoholic family members are at an increased risk of adopting alcohol use. That makes alcohol abuse among kids and teens a pervasive issue that calls for immediate awareness programs and prevention action.
Alcohol Awareness Activities
The main goal of Alcohol Awareness month is to focus attention on the issues related to alcoholism and to connect alcoholics with valuable resources to help them recover from alcohol abuse.
Any one day in the month of April will be observed as the National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD). On that day, people can undergo free screening across locations in the country to determine if their alcohol consumption is problematic. The screenings will be anonymous and confidential. You can always use our screening tool for alcohol abuse, it is free and available 24/7.
At the screening sites, participants will have the opportunity to attend educational presentations and pick up informative materials like questionnaires that helps judge how risky the drinking habits are and how badly addicted one is. Best of all, people will be able to speak one-on-one with a medical professional to discuss concerns like addiction, health risks and treatment.
Why Should Kids Be Involved In Awareness Campaigns?
Getting kids involved in alcohol awareness programs is a great way to keep them informed of the health risks and prevent them from possible alcohol abuse. It would be a good idea to reinforce the lessons of prevention education that kids receive from school. Here are some great ideas to help you get started:
- Assign kids to conduct a research on the dangers of alcohol abuse. Then have them present these findings in the class or club as a poster, skit or PowerPoint presentation.
- Encourage kids to share real-life incidences of how alcohol use has negatively affected them or someone close to them.
- Create role playing situations that require kids to effectively use the skills of refusal and assertiveness to overcome the pressures to drink.
- Get the kids to design anti-alcohol advertisements.