This month is Alcohol Awareness Month. Started in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, it’s a public health program that increases awareness about the dangers of alcoholism. It was started with the intention of targeting college-aged students who might be drinking too much as part of their newfound freedom. It has since become a national movement to draw more attention to the causes and effects of alcoholism as well as how to help families and communities deal with drinking problems.
The goal of this tradition is to spread awareness about the stigma surrounding alcoholism and substance abuse in general. For many, denial is a common trait for those who are uncomfortable acknowledging the reality of the situation. Alcohol Awareness Month gives public health bodies, community centers, and treatment facilities the chance to increase their efforts to reach people who may not fully recognize the dangers of unhealthy alcohol consumption. It also helps ensure that families and communities have the resources, information, and options available to control the crisis of alcoholism.
Signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse can manifest differently in others. Some of the most common physical, psychological, and behavioral signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse are:
The official 11 criteria, or symptoms, for alcoholism in the DSM-5 are listed as:
Because alcoholism is a prevalent condition in the U.S. among most age ranges, there are many research organizations that are committed to helping and preventing alcohol and substance abuse. Some research organizations include the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Additionally, there are numerous alcohol support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Al-Anon and Alateen, SMART Recovery, and Women for Sobriety. American Addiction Centers has many great resources listed on their site that can be referenced anytime.
American Addiction Centers. (2021). Alcoholism: List of symptoms and signs of alcohol abuse. Retrieved from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/symptoms-and-signs
Monico, N. (2020). Alcohol awareness month. American Addiction Centers. Retrieved from https://www.alcohol.org/awareness-month/