Alcohol Awareness Month: Highlighting the Path to Recovery

Learn how to use alcohol awareness month as a catalyst for positive changes leading you to sobriety and a helathy lifestyle.

April is alcohol awareness month, and We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ uses this time to remind ourselves and everyone around of the dangers of alcohol misuse and ways to combat it. Alcohol addiction is a pervasive problem in New Jersey, one that impacts individuals and their families, public systems, and communities. 

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) established alcohol awareness month in 1987, which is when it first began. But its origins go further in history. Marty Mann, one of the first women to achieve long-term sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), founded the NCADD in 1944 with a mission to aid those struggling with addiction but also educate and raise awareness. 

Alcoholism Awareness Month today stands as a reminder of the importance of addressing alcoholism at every level of society, educating the public on it, and supporting each other on the path to a sober life. 

When is alcohol awareness month?

As previously mentioned, April is alcohol awareness month in the US. It is a month-long practice that started nearly 70 years ago and whose goal is to encourage people to speak about their drinking habits and problems openly and to remind the public of the consequences of not drinking responsibly. Additionally, it is an opportunity for health care professionals, educators, and parents to come together and talk about ways of preventing underage drinking, having difficult conversations, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. 

alcohol awarenes banner with a girl drinking red wine holding her head

Organizations and communities participating in the national alcohol awareness month do so by creating free resources, campaigns, or events. 

Addressing the prevalence of alcohol abuse in the U.S.

According to the latest data shared by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), it is estimated that each year more than 178.000 people die due to alcohol-related causes. The 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that a staggering number of 29.5 million people ages 12 and older have suffered from alcohol use disorder (AUD). The numbers are especially worrisome for youth aged 12–17, with 281,000 boys and 472,000 girls having had AUD in the past year. 

Finally, around 15% of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 met the criteria for AUD in the past year. NIAAA also reports that some students come to college with already-developed drinking habits, and some develop them due to the environment or peer pressure. Additionally, college students often engage in so-called binge drinking, which has many negative consequences for the human body and mind. 

Hello april spelled
April is Alcohol Awareness Month!

Alcohol use and abuse bring many risks for a person, but also for the people surrounding them. Those who abuse alcohol are at greater risk of developing certain illnesses, acting recklessly, engaging in risky situations, or acting in an abusive way. More than 200 diseases and injury-related conditions are associated with alcohol abuse, and frequently victims are those closest to the person, their family, and friends. 

Comprehensive treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD)

AUD is a medical condition characterized by the inability to stop or control consuming alcohol despite its social, occupational, or health consequences. AUD is a pattern of behavior that involves consuming more alcohol to achieve the same effect it used to have or having withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop drinking.  

AUD can range from mild to severe and encompasses conditions such as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcohol addiction. Binge drinking is also considered an AUD. No matter the condition, AUD puts your health and safety, as well as the safety of others, at risk. 

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Depending on the severity of AUD, it may manifest with some of these symptoms:

  • Not being able to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Wanting to decrease your drinking or making attempts to do so with no success
  • Spending a lot of time in drinking-related activities (getting alcohol, consuming it, recovering from alcohol use)
  • Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill tasks at work, school or home due to repeated alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink despite knowing it’s causing physical, social, work or relationship problems
  • Abandoning or reducing social and work activities and hobbies to use alcohol
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s not safe (e.g., when driving)
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol (needing more to feel its effect or having a reduced effect from the same amount)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms (e.g., nausea, sweating, shaking) or drinking to avoid these symptoms

These symptoms are not always easy to catch, and each person´s experience is unique, resulting in an inability to recognize that you or your loved ones have an AUD. Once you do, however, it´s advisable to look for professional help in addressing the issue. 

AUD may develop as an unhealthy coping mechanism for mental issues, resulting in dual diagnoses, making professional assistance indispensable. Finally, AUD causes long-lasting changes in the brain that make you more susceptible to relapses, which is why inpatient treatments and dual diagnosis support offered by specialized centers like We Level Up New Jersey are necessary. 

A glass and a bottle fo wine.
National Alcohol Awareness Month reminds us of the causes and symptoms of AUD.

The objectives of alcohol awareness month

This year, alcoholism awareness month mostly targets youth and their families. The main goal is to raise awareness and educate people on the dangers and realities of alcohol dependence. During Alcohol Awareness Month, many organizations and communities in the United States organize activities and campaigns with the aim of increasing outreach, decreasing the stigma surrounding and seeking help for AUD.

Even though this year’s national alcohol awareness month aims to primarily reach younger people, it is a platform for anyone struggling with alcohol use or anyone looking to help someone in that situation. Much is shared about the dangers of alcohol consumption, support systems for dealing with them, and advice on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

Typically, campaigns on social and traditional media are launched during the month of April to draw attention to causes and signs of alcohol abuse problems and to share resources and information on where to seek help. 

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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Finding support and treatment in New Jersey

Anyone can participate in national alcohol awareness month, and there are various ways to do so. 

  • Wear a red ribbon. This is a symbol of alcohol awareness month, and by wearing it, you are showing support for it. 
  • Participate in an alcohol-free 72 hours. This is an initiative to make the first weekend in April an alcohol-free one. If this turns out to be too challenging for you, it might be time to look for professional help. 
  • Talk with children about alcohol. Use the national alcohol awareness month to spike the conversation about responsible drinking. It´s important for both you and your children to understand how long alcohol stays in your system and what the consequences are. 
  • Share information about available resources with your loved one struggling with alcohol addiction. There are various services offered in New Jersey. For those only starting their recovery journey, We Level Up NJ can offer comfortable alcohol detox options as a first step to regaining control over their lives. If your loved ones have tried quitting alcohol in the past and failed, inpatient alcohol rehab can provide the assistance and support they need in the most critical phase of their recovery journey. 
  • Do some self-reflection. Keep yourself in check by monitoring your own consumption and alcohol-related behavior. If you are unsure if you are showing signs of AUD, reach out to our alcohol rehab centers for assistance and guidance. 
A person wearing red ribbon as a sign of support for alcohol awareness month.
The red ribbon is a symbol of support for Alcohol Awareness Month.

The role of specialized treatment centers

Substance abuse treatment centers in New Jersey can assist if you or your loved ones are struggling with unhealthy alcohol consumption. Our evidence-based treatments can help you get back on track and live life to its fullest potential. 

Other than providing a first-class detox center, we prioritize inpatient care for substance use disorders to prevent relapse and ensure long-term recovery. We rely on comprehensive and integrated treatment programs, as well as holistic and personalized care. We do not only address the alcohol use problem that you have but also co-occurring mental health issues by implementing our well-established dual diagnosis protocols. 

We are dedicated to helping you take back control over your life via personalized support, evidence-based treatment, and a clear path to a life free from addiction.

The impact of alcohol awareness month

There´s no doubt that alcohol awareness month has a great impact on the lives of many. By creating a safe space for people to speak of their personal addiction stories, by sharing research findings and useful resources, and by sparking difficult but important conversation, the national alcohol awareness month creates a platform that promotes responsible alcohol consumption and a healthy lifestyle. 

It serves as a catalyst for change and encourages those who are AUD-affected to get support. Be sure to show support for alcoholism awareness month and those struggling with substance abuse by educating yourself on the topic and reputable centers for recovery journeys.

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