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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month is an annual event first observed in April of 1987. It was proposed as a way to increase public awareness of alcohol-related problems and Addiction, and encourage people to make healthy choices regarding their drinking. 

This month has been important for creating conversations about the risks associated with alcohol use, such as physical health problems, interpersonal issues, and mental health concerns. 

What is Alcohol Awareness, Exactly?

It is especially important to be aware of our own drinking habits and behaviors. Regularly check in with yourself to make sure your relationship with alcohol is something you are comfortable with. Additionally, pay attention to when others around you drink – it’s important not to put pressure on someone who doesn’t feel safe or willing to partake in any form of drinking. 

It’s also essential to normalize conversations around Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) and ensure people feel safe admitting they have a problem and seeking help, without feeling ashamed or judged. With treatment options available for those who require it, alcohol use disorders can be managed in a healthy and successful way. We must strive to reduce the stigma surrounding AUDs so that anyone who needs help can seek it without fear of being looked down upon. 

Taking Care of Ourselves and Others

What alcohol awareness is really about is responsibility. It’s not to say that no person anywhere at any time can drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol isn’t inherently ‘wrong’. Alcohol awareness is a reminder to us all to keep an eye out for ourselves and each other. Sometimes that means taking a good hard look at our own behavior. Asking yourself if perhaps your alcohol consumption is causing you problems that you have so far chosen not to address. 

Other times alcohol awareness may be about keeping tabs on the people we care about most. It’s tempting to give people the benefit of the doubt or to assume the best. But that can be a slippery slope to complacency, denial or codependence. If someone you love is drinking more than they should and they are facing consequences as a result, don’t ignore it. In the short term it may seem simpler to “keep the peace” and avoid confronting them, but ask yourself if that’s really in their best interest in the long term. 

Alcohol Awareness Also Means Changing the Conversation

One of the most important things, some would say THE most important objective of alcohol awareness is raising the common consciousness where the issue of alcohol and alcohol use disorders is concerned. What does that mean exactly? Well, a large part of it is changing the way we talk and think about alcohol use. We want to work to eliminate stigma and shame surrounding drinking problems and asking for help. 

Ideally, anyone should feel comfortable openly admitting when they have a problem with alcohol. People should feel like going to treatment for an alcohol use disorder is a practical decision made for your health and wellbeing. It’s no different than having a surgical procedure or any other medical treatment. It’s nothing anyone should feel the need to be ashamed or guilty about. That is the world we want to create through alcohol awareness. 

Raising Alcohol Awareness is About:

  • Making people aware that AUDs  are the most common substance use disorder by far.
  • Educating people that alcohol use disorder is a disease, not a character flaw. 
  • Making it safe to ask for help with a drinking problem and speaking honestly about it.
  • Normalizing going to treatment for an alcohol use disorder, without shaming or blaming. 

Doing the Right Thing Makes the World a Better Place – Talk About Alcohol Awareness

We all have a responsibility to raise awareness about alcohol-related issues, whether that’s at home with friends and family or on an institutionalized level. Alcohol Awareness Month serves as an important reminder of this – if we want to foster healthy relationships with alcohol, then understanding how it affects people is key. 

Let’s use this Alcohol Awareness Month to open up conversations, promote understanding, and spread the message that help and treatment are available for those who need them. By raising awareness together, we can create an environment where everyone feels safe to talk about their own relationship with alcohol – and where seeking help is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness. 

Tranquil Shores Has Solutions for Alcohol Use Disorders

No matter where you find yourself in your journey, we can help. Tranquil Shores is a Joint Commission Accredited alcohol and drug rehab located in the greater Tampa area. Our confidential hotline is available to you 24-hours a day. Call (727) 291-9874 for help, any time, day or night. 

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