Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow is the theme of the 27th Annual Alcohol Awareness Month. Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). April was intentionally chosen as the month to focus on alcohol abuse education and awareness, as it is the traditional beginning of prom and graduation season.
This year’s theme is meant to demonstrate the impact—emotional, physical and economic—of alcohol use disorders:
- 25% of U.S. kids have been exposed to alcohol abuse;
- 75% of domestic abuse occurs when one or both partners are intoxicated and the family is twice as likely to use the health care system than other families;
- Drinking and driving cause over 16,000 deaths per year;
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the economic impact of alcohol-related disorders cost $223.5 billion per year ($746 per person or $1.90 per drink).
The website for the CDC explains, “Excessive drinking is a dangerous behavior for both men and women. This year, CDC is drawing attention to the risks to women's health from binge drinking, the most common type of excessive alcohol consumption by adults.”
Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks per occasion for women and five or more for men. Women who binge drink are more likely to participate in risky behaviors, which can result in unwanted pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases. Women who binge drink also increase their chances for breast cancer, heart disease and stroke, all leading causes of death in women in the United States.
Opportunities for education and awareness are available throughout the U.S. Events include community information fairs, classes and workshops. Articles about how to talk to kids and teens about drinking and alcohol abuse as well as tips for additional awareness are available for school and church newsletters and websites.