April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April Awareness

When I had my first drink at the age of 16, I didn’t know that I would become gravely addicted to the substance I was experimenting with. But I had received warnings, including the following advice from my mother to discourage my nail-biting habit: “People with oral fixations become alcoholics. Don’t drink.” 

But other than that throwaway warning and some snoozed-through health classes in school, I didn’t think much about any future ramifications of drinking. As far as I knew, alcohol was fun and made me feel good. I had no idea it would leave me torn to shreds and damn near death at the young age of 39. 

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. The program, organized by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, is meant to encourage understanding and education about the disease as well as promote compassion for those who suffer from it. It’s also meant to provide resources and assistance to people in active alcohol addiction so they can get the help and support they need. Raising awareness is also an opportunity for people to rethink their drinking

Another purpose of the month-long campaign is to stop the stigma surrounding alcohol use disorders and chemical dependency overall. That stigma can lead people to believe that those who struggle with chemical dependencies have moral failings or lack willpower and not understand the fact that addiction is actually a progressive, fatal disease.

Alcohol is responsible for more than 178,000 deaths a year in the United States alone, making it one of the leading causes of preventable death in the country. Alcohol abuse is also tied to over 200 diseases and injury-related conditions, not to mention the significant emotional impacts on those who suffer from it or have loved ones affected by it. 

So we observe Alcohol Awareness Month this April as an opportunity to highlight the urgency of the issue, provide effective resources, explore innovations, create advocacy to change public perception, and promote underage drinking prevention strategies. The stigma and shame around alcohol use disorder needs to be eradicated so that more people seek out help. To aid in that effort, more people need to recover out loud — particularly beloved celebrities who are in recovery. 

Seeing that some of my idols were in recovery helped nudge me toward my sobriety journey, so that’s our call to action. We encourage more people to share their experience, strength, and hope so those who still suffer can see that recovery is possible. Now, I am proud to say that I am a recovery advocate, and I will continue to recover out loud so that more people affected by this dreadful disease can come out from the shadows and achieve sobriety for themselves. It’s worth it, and you’re worth it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *