- The Alcohol Awareness
Month (AAM) is observed annually in the US in April.
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
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'.
‘The month of April is the Alcohol Awareness Month, dedicated to concentrated efforts towards raising awareness, circulating information, and reaching out to the millions of alcoholics in the US.’
Andrew Pucher, President
and CEO of NCADD, states, "Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for
young people, and parents can make a difference. The longer children delay
drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems
associated with it. That's why it is so important to help your child connect
the dots and make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs."
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?
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:
affects brain communication making it difficult to think clearly and disrupting
coordination.Effects on Heart Health: Excessive
alcohol intake can affect the normal functioning of the heart
causing high blood pressure, arrhythmias or irregular heart beat,
cardiomyopathy, which is the stretching and drooping of the heart muscle, and
stroke.Effects on the Liver: The liver is highly
affected by heavy drinking routines, leading to problems such as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis of the
liver.Effects on the Pancreas: Excess alcohol
consumption can take its toll on the pancreas causing pancreatitis, an
inflammation of the blood vessels in the pancreas that can be life
threatening.Increased Risk of Cancer: Alcohol abuse
for an extended period of time can increase the risk of several types of
cancer- of the mouth, the throat, the larynx, the liver, the esophagus and even
the breast.Effects on the Immune System: Alcoholism
affects the overall immunity of the individual, making the addicted person much
more susceptible to diseases and infections than normal.
Heavy drinking is also
million people in the US suffer from chronic drinking problems, with several
more millions indulging in drinking patterns that could easily turn into
addiction. It is the 3rd leading cause of death in the country,
responsible for roughly 2.5 million deaths annually.
How Much is Too Much?
What qualifies as heavy
drinking depends on how much is drunk and how often.
- Driving accidents often resulting
- Violent behavior
- Suicidal tendencies often leading to
- Crimes and homicide
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
A one off incident of
heavy drinking will not qualify as an alcohol disorder, but a regular pattern
of excess liquor consumption, too much, too often, can easily be at a high risk
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%.
about 30-35% adult males
in India consume alcohol regularlyWomen: only about
5% women consume alcohol in India
Interestingly, there is
a much higher incidence of liquor intake among lower income groups in India,
when compared to higher income groups. High levels of alcohol consumption
are also directly related to the increasingly high crime rates in the country,
especially against women.
According to a study done by the National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
: "At least one-half of all
violent crimes involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, the victim, or
both. Researchers have consistently found that men who have been drinking
alcohol commit approximately one-half of all sexual assaults...."
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
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
- Alcohol Awareness Month - (https://www.ncadd.org/aam)
- What's "at-risk" or "heavy"
drinking? - (https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/How-much-is-too-much/Is-your-drinking-pattern-risky/Whats-At-Risk-Or-Heavy-Drinking.aspx)