What is Alcohol Awareness Month?
There are big benefits to educating and spreading awareness about alcohol use and abuse, and Alcohol Awareness Month, recognized every April since 1987, is a great opportunity to get the word out.
Alcohol Awareness Month was founded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) with the original purpose of sharing information on alcohol use with college-aged young adults. Over the years it’s evolved and expanded, and today, it’s a nationwide public health initiative that seeks to not just increase awareness around alcohol dependency but to reduce the harmful stigma that can so often come along with it.
This expanded effort—and the expanded conversation that comes along with it—can benefit anyone of any age who may have questions about, or struggles with, alcohol consumption. This includes teens, adults, and the family members of individuals who have dealt with or are currently dealing with concerning alcohol use.
Teenage Drinking Parenting Advice
One of the big goals of Alcohol Awareness Month is to help facilitate conversations about alcohol use between parents and their teens.
If you are the parent of a teenager and need some help creating a safe space to discuss the topic, here are some tips that can get the dialogue going:
Be observant. Pay attention to the signs of alcohol use in teens, such as loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and withdrawal from relationships
Be open-minded. Don’t put your child on the defense. Make it clear that you’re there to talk, and not to judge.
Be direct. Set out clear expectations for your teen and discuss together what should be done if they’re not met.
Getting Involved in Alcohol Awareness Month 2021
There are a number of Alcohol Awareness Month events and initiatives that you may want to consider getting involved with this month. And there are lots of good reasons to participate, including helping reduce misconceptions around alcohol dependency and making it easier for everyone to have open and honest conversations about this important topic.
Here are some things that you can do:
Participate in “Dry” April
There’s still time to commit to abstaining from alcohol for the rest of the month. If you decide to do it, consider posting on social media about what you’re doing and why, being sure to mention Alcohol Awareness Month.
Other people, and especially young people, can benefit from more direct conversations about alcohol use. This fact sheet on how alcohol use affects children and teens has useful statistics that are worth sharing with others, as does our own resource on drug and alcohol facts.
Get on Social:
Have a story to tell? Share it on social media with the hashtag #AlcoholAwarenessMonth and lend your voice—and your experience—to this important cause.
Alcohol Awareness Month is an opportunity for individuals of all ages to have a frank discussion about the dangers of unhealthy alcohol consumption. And if you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, let it be a reminder that there is no shame in asking for help.
For more information or to seek support from a professional mental health care provider, please contact us today.