SAN DIEGO, April 1, 2014 — April Fool’s Day marks the beginning of Alcohol Awareness Month, and it is no laughing matter.
Established in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the theme for this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month, “Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.” raises awareness for the millions of Americans suffering from alcohol-related disorders, including the multitude of family members, friends, co-workers, and others whose lives they touch.
Although consuming alcohol is a widely-accepted social norm, for those Americans who are alcoholics, approximately 8.5% of the population, this form of socialization comes with great risks and unintended consequences.
According to the Mayo Clinic, alcoholism is a chronic and frequently progressive disease which includes problems controlling drinking.
Further, they believe alcoholism is influenced by psychological, social, and environmental factors.
Genetics, or inherited tendencies, may be a causative factor for developing this addiction.
To some, alcoholism is viewed as a disease which requires intervention, treatment, medication, counseling, and long-term strategies for maintaining hard-earned sobriety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that in 2006 excessive alcohol consumption cost the United States approximately $223.5 billion dollars in a combination of health care expenditures, absenteeism from work, law enforcement and criminal justice, and vehicular accidents.
While the financial costs of alcoholism are staggering, the human capitol lost in the torment of alcohol-driven lives, broken relationships, families torn apart, and the like is overwhelming.
The NCADD estimates that approximately 75% of domestic abuse is committed while a family member or members is under the influence of alcohol.
Alcoholism affects Americans of all ages, genders, and socio-economic status.
Approximately 2.5 million deaths world-wide may be attributed to excessive alcohol use each year, according to The World Health Organization, sourced by the NCADD.
They point-out that alcoholism is an ever-increasing problem, especially for the countries in the Western Pacific, the Americas, and Europe.
-Inability to limit alcohol consumption.
-Feeling a strong need to compulsively drink.
-Needing to consume greater amounts of alcohol to get the same effects.
-Drinking alone and hiding it.
-Physical withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating and shaking when not drinking.
-Loss of memory and lapses in time.
-Becoming irritable if drink times are interrupted.
-Experiencing legal, financial, employment, and/or personal problems.
Seek immediate attention and guidance from a qualified health care provider if there is someone you know with symptoms of alcoholism.
Learn what types of resources, interventions and treatment options might be available.
For further information contact:
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
Al-Anon or Alateen
Even though consuming alcohol is a popular American tradition enjoyed while celebrating birthdays, marriages, anniversaries, holidays and more, do not let raising a toasting glass filled with alcohol turn the least suspecting participant into an unintended fool this April’s Fool’s Day!
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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