“Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people, and parents can make a difference.”
~ Andrew Pucher, President and CEO of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
April 1 marks the 30th annual National Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Every April since 1987, NCADD has reminded all Americans that alcohol is the most-abused substance in the world.
The goal is to help remove the stigma associated with substance abuse in the form of alcoholism, create increased public awareness, and promote a greater understanding for the plight of an estimated 17.6 MILLION Americans.
The theme of 2016 is “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use”, and it is focused on educating families about how to prevent and treat alcohol abuse disorders, formerly known as alcoholism.
NCADD reports that the longer adolescents can delay first-time drinking and drug use, the more likely they are to be free of any substance abuse problems. This year’s theme highlights the positive impact that parents can have on their teens’ behavior.
The month-long observance begins with Alcohol-Free Weekend, which begins today, Friday, April 1, and concludes Sunday, April 3. These three days serve to highlight how alcohol use, misuse, dependency, and abuse affect the entire community.
How Does Alcohol Awareness Month Help?
Any step that raises public awareness about any substance abuse disorder– especially the disease of alcoholism – is a step in the right direction, because it may motivate someone to take action to prevent alcohol problems in their home and in their community.
- Parents can have open and honest talks with their children about the dangers of alcohol use.
- Healthcare professionals can be reminded to talk to their clients about cutting back on their alcohol use, or even better, abstaining altogether.
- Alcohol awareness month can provide a perfect opening to talk to someone and convince them to get help.
- Local communities – even neighborhoods – can hold events to spread the word and to promote any nearby addiction treatment resources.
- People can talk to their loved ones who may be at risk, encouraging them to make necessary lifestyle changes.
The last one is extremely useful, because alcohol abuse disorder exists on a spectrum—from “problem” binge-drinking to full-blow addiction that requires medical intervention. One desirable goal of Alcohol Awareness Month in Colorado is to arrest the disease’s progress at the earliest possible stage.
Some possible lifestyle changes include:
- Making a list of reasons NOT to drink
- Keeping a log that details EXACTLY how much you drink
- Picking one or two days out of the week that you CHOOSE not to drink
- Making the decision to STAY AWAY from places where heavy drinking is expected
If a person has difficulty making these relatively-easy “baby steps”, then it is a good indication that their drinking has gone beyond their control, and that outside help is needed.
Statistics about Alcohol Use in Colorado
Any way you want to look at it, it is shockingly clear that alcohol abuse is a huge problem within the state of Colorado. Everyone is affected to some degree – the individual, suffering loved ones, and local communities.
Just take a look at some of these statistics:
- States in this region of the country– including Colorado –have the country’s highest death rates linked to alcohol.
- Two Colorado counties – Pitkin and Summit –rank #2 and #3 in all of America for alcohol use.
- In Pitkin and Routt Counties, almost one-third of adults abuse alcohol.
- Almost half of all Coloradans between the ages of 18 and 25 have engaged in binge-drinking within the past month.
- Across the entire state, one out of every five Colorado adults regularly engage in heavy or binge-drinking.
- Every year in Colorado, more than 240 people die in alcohol-related crashes.
- Another 4000 are seriously injured.
- Alcohol is responsible for one in seven deaths among Colorado adults. The national average is one in ten.
Colorado residents are in courage to learn all they can about the disease of alcoholism and how it affects their lives, their families, and their communities.
If you believe that you or someone you care about might have a problem with alcohol abuse, then you should contact AspenRidge Recovery today and get answers to your questions.
Located just minutes from downtown Denver, AspenRidge is the most-trusted name in drug and alcohol rehab in Colorado. Their licensed clinical staff uses evidence-based and wellness-focused treatment strategies to address the disease on multiple levels, thereby maximizing your chances of long-lasting sobriety and complete recovery.
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