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Celebrate Alcohol Awareness Month this April

By Haley Tye, Clark County Health Department intern

April 1 marks the beginning of the 31st annual Alcohol Awareness Month. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) created this month in 1987 as a way to spread knowledge about alcoholism and the different methods of recovery and treatment.

Each year, the NCADD forms a central theme for the entire month. The 2017 theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery.” This year’s theme focuses on both the treatment and prevention aspects of alcoholism, especially in the youth population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, and cost the U.S. $24 billion in economic costs in 2010.”

Underage drinking and drug use is also correlated with violence, suicide, trouble at school, unsafe sexual practices, and various other problems. The NCADD encourages parents and guardians to talk with their youth about the dangers of alcohol and drug use at an early age. According to the NCADD, “research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50 percent less likely to use these substances than those who do not have such conversations.”

If not treated, alcoholism can be fatal. Due to various stigmas regarding the illness, many individuals do not receive the treatment needed to be successfully cured. Alcohol Awareness Month is a great way to spread the word about this illness that affects millions of US citizens each year. How can you help? If you are a parent or guardian, try discussing the risks of using alcohol and other drugs with your children. If you know someone who may be suffering from alcoholism or another alcohol-related illness, discuss treatment options with them and let them know you are there to talk. Host an event in your community spreading awareness about alcoholism and the dangers alcohol can have on the human body.

There are many ways to get involved in standing up to the nation’s fourth leading preventable cause of death this April for Alcohol Awareness Month. For more information, visit www.ncadd.org. For information about AA meetings, contact Clark County KY Agency for Substance Abuse Policy at 859-608-1376 or www.clarkcountyasap.org.