- The Alcohol Awareness Month (AAM) is observed annually in the US in April.
- The 2017 AAM theme is Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery, aimed at bringing together parents, especially of young adults who are the worst hit section of the population.
- Alcoholism is a major chronic progressive illness, responsible for the social, psychological and physiological collapse of the alcoholic as well as those around him.
April is the designated Alcohol Awareness Month (AAM) in the United States. In 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) marked the month of April for sustained efforts to cast light on alcohol abuse and disorder, considered the No.1 public health issue in the US. Each year, April sees a conglomeration of events and media outreach organized all over the country, across local, state and national level communities. The NCADD's National Network of Affiliates along with several other organizing bodies come together to generate awareness, circulate information on alcohol addiction and rehabilitation, pull down the social stigma associated with alcoholism, and encourage addicted individuals and their families to seek help.
The AAM 2017 theme is "Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery". Alcohol addiction is generally at its peak among young adults and that makes parents a vital factor when it comes to recovery and treatment strategies. The aim this year is to encourage parent-child conversations regarding the dangers associated with alcohol and drug abuse. It has been found that youngsters who engage in extended discussions with their parents tend to be at a 50% less risk of developing addiction, compared to young people who do not have 'the talk'.
A little parent-child talk with your young one can go a long way in saving not only your child's future, but perhaps also his or her life, along with the fates of all those people who might be affected by his or her addiction problems, and who might even pay with their lives!
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is one of the most severe forms of alcohol abuse, associated with far-reaching implications on both the affected individual and his surrounding environment. The consequences could be social, psychological, or physiological in nature. It is a chronic and progressive illness intimately linked with a breakdown in the mental and physical health of the alcoholic, simultaneously affecting his family and loved ones, besides instigating social dysfunction at large.
Some of the most severe physiological consequences of aggressive habitual drinking can be:
- Effects on Brain Mechanism:
- Driving accidents often resulting in fatality
- Violent behavior problems
- Suicidal tendencies often leading to death
- Crimes and homicide
How Much is Too Much?
What qualifies as heavy drinking depends on how much is drunk and how often. These standards could vary from person to person, depending on capacity of liquor intake. However, the general accepted standard for heavy drinking is:
- For men, more than 4 drinks on any given day
- For women, more than 3 drinks on any given day
In India at present, about 10-20 million people are estimated to be in need of treatment for alcohol dependence. According to OECD data, over a period of 20 years, alcohol consumption in India has increased over 55%.
Habitual drinking impairs judgment and can bring a person down to the level of a beast. Besides being an enormous health hazard for the alcoholic, it is also a major social nuisance.
It is therefore imperative to quell the stigma surrounding alcoholism and come to the rescue of all those sufferers who might not be aware of their condition, or, might not know the best way to seek help. If you reach out, you'd be helping save not just one person, but possibly an entire society. The AAM is dedicated to doing just that.