Held every April, Alcohol Awareness Month was founded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) to spread awareness and end the stigma associated with alcoholism that sometimes prevents individuals and their families from seeking help.
The theme of this, the 27th NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month, is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.” According to the NCADD, this year’s theme is intended to “draw attention to the pervasive impact that alcohol, alcohol-related problems and alcoholism have on young people, their friends, on families and in our communities.”
In the spirit of the NCADD’s goal of awareness and education, here are some facts you may not know about alcoholism:
– The economic cost of alcoholism and alcohol abuse has recently been estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be $223.5 billion. That’s $746 per person or about $1.90 per drink.
– 75% of domestic abuse is committed while one or both members are intoxicated and family members utilize health care twice as much as families without alcohol problems.
– Drinking and driving causes 16,000 deaths per year, and thousands more injuries.
– Up to 75% of crimes are committed by people under the influence of alcohol.
– Teens that experiment with alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent when they are older when compared with those who wait until age 20.
– More than 8.5% of Americans suffer from alcohol dependency, and 25% of U.S. children have been exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
Although statistics can sometimes be dull, the fact is that alcoholism is everywhere. It is a disease that changes the way the body functions. By reducing the stigma that obscures our perspective of alcoholism, maybe we can cause a shift that will lead to more treatment and less abuse in the U.S.
Alcohol Awareness Month will be filled with activities on local, state, and national levels. These events are sponsored by local NCADD Affiliates as well as schools, colleges, churches, and community organizations. Click here to find the event near you and here for alcohol intervention help.