As of today, we find ourselves right smack-dab in the middle of Alcoholism Awareness Month, an event created by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to empower everyday people to promote grass-roots awareness toward alcoholism in their communities. Alcoholism Awareness Month, along with other events like it, is an opportunity to pay a little more attention to a matter that many of us don’t have to consider on a daily basis, because we may not be directly affected by it. We may have heard some story about a friend’s distant relative who was hit by a drunk-driver or we may have an uncle on the other side of the country that we never see that’s in and out of rehab. The widespread nature of alcohol abuse and addiction in the United States means it may only be a matter of time before we’re all personally affected. Given this revelation, perhaps we need a little more than 30 days to raise awareness.
"If it was my knee or it was anything else, then people wouldn't have a problem with it. But, you know, it being alcoholism, it's tough for people to swallow, but it's the same thing."
On October 4th C.C. Sabathia left the team for treatment ahead of its loss to Houston in the one-game American League wild-card playoff and went public with his problem. Most addicts never feel the need to go to rehab. Most addicts are completely oblivious to their problem due to their denial. This makes Sebathia’s journey to treatment so important for people to see.
Today marks the Alcoholics Anonymous 80th anniversary. When AA started there were few places to turn for those who suffered from alcoholism. If treatments were prescribed, they were harsh, often combinations of barbiturates and belladonna administered in a "purge and puke" regime. People who could not afford treatment had to rely on state hospitals and charities.
We’ve heard the term “binge drinking,” most likely attributed with college kids exploring their newfound independence. Binge drinking and excessive alcohol intake is so much more prominent than we imagine. This can lead to alcoholism. The effects of binge drinking can be detrimental on a person’s body and mind. What is considered binge drinking? Binge drinking is not just the act of drinking multiple days in a row, it is also characterized by drinking too much at one time, such as four or five alcohol-laden drinks or a six-pack of beer in one sitting. This type of consumption behavior is much more harmful to the body than having one drink a few nights in a row. You may be thinking about the harsh effects of an alcohol hangover that most people have experienced at some point in their lives when a night got a little out of control. Unfortunately, there are deeper consequences than just a headache and a morning of light sensitivity.
We are full on in April and we have to mention that it is Alcohol Awareness Month. The goal of this commemorative month is to increase public awareness, public understanding and to get people the drug rehab that they need for this illness.
For those of us struggling with the disease of addiction it is painfully obvious that the disease does not discriminate, affecting people of all races, ages, social and economic statuses, etc. There is sometimes a stigma about “who” or “what” an addict looks like. What the rest of the world may not realize is that the recovery community is not entirely made up of stereotypes that the media portrays, rather it is a diverse group of people from all walks of life. Addiction has started to make its way in to the mainstream of society, and is now more often accepted as a treatable disease and not a moral deficiency. Today, it is much more common to see doctors, lawyers, celebrities, and others, who come from places where in the past it would have been frowned upon to succumb to the ways of an addict, become more vocal and advocate about the insidiousness of this disease. For many addicts in these positions that are held to a “higher standard”, it could not be fathomed that they too were of the same mortal capacity as the addicts they read about in the paper or watched on T.V. This old worldview is finally starting to fade away. As the shift in our perceptions about “who is an addict” has changed, it has afforded equal opportunity treatment, without judgement, to anyone who seeks it.
Every day, millions of people drink a beer or two with friends or enjoy a glass of wine with a good meal. For more than 30 percent of these drinkers, alcohol has begun to have a negative impact on their everyday lives. Yet, only a small number are true alcoholics—people who have completely lost control over their drinking and who need alcohol to function. The great majority are what Dr. Doyle and Dr. Nowinski call “Almost Alcoholics,” a growing number of people whose excessive drinking contributes to a variety of problems in their lives. The difference between the "almost alcoholic" and the true alcoholic is a matter of degree, according to Dr. Robert L. Doyle, professor of behavioral health at Harvard University and psychologist Dr. Joseph Nowinski.
I was prompted to write this post from an article I read on CNN Health’s The Chart website, “Studies link alcohol to early death, memory loss” in January 2014. I thought it would be beneficial to pull a couple facts and truths about alcohol use from the article to bring them to your attention. Some you may already know and some may shock you. Either way, it begs for more attention to be paid to the issue of alcohol abuse and the widespread need for counseling and rehabilitation.
1.“Nearly 80,000 people die as a result of drinking alcohol each year in North and Latin America”
I am not sure about you, but in my opinion this is a stifling number, especially when you take into account that this is just North America and Latin America.
At this point, most people have a general knowledge of social media and many people have accounts of their own that allow them to connect with past friends and colleagues. Social media is a great resource that has many positives, but what about the unintended negative consequences? Specifically, the role of Social Media Promoting Alcohol and drugs. I know this is no shock, but social media is extremely popular with younger generations, namely middle and high school teens that share every single thing they do. They connect with friends of friends, creating relationships that sometimes exist purely behind a computer screen, tablet or smartphone. With the continued emergence of social media, it is no longer just about who they physically hang out with – impairing the previous popular notion of “knowing who your kids are hanging out with.” Now, the “friends” and “followers” they keep on their social media accounts can become primary influencers. Sure, the Internet is an open range of alcohol and drug influences, but social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter concentrate alcohol and drug influences into one location that some kids spend most of their time searching and seeking for approval and relevance.
Alcohol and college are closely associated with each other in the minds of students and graduates with plenty of nights they don’t really remember. Many people say, “Its college, have fun!” Very rarely are people judged by their habits in college as it is written off as the time to be crazy and irresponsible. The photos and stories that emerge from wild drinking nights are told over and over as people reminisce about the ‘good times.’
Unfortunately, in college, binge drinking is not given a title; it’s just called a weekend. Therefore, as college students drink overwhelming amounts of alcohol and test their limits, they rarely see it as a problem. Alcoholism in college goes virtually untreated because these tendencies are accepted as normal.