Roughly 30 million Americans have drinking problems that qualify them for alcohol addiction treatment. However, just a small percentage of those affected actually get that treatment. This is true for a number of reasons. One common factor is a lack of awareness of the dangers of risky drinking patterns. You can take steps to raise your own awareness of these dangers. You can also do a variety of things to help make others more aware of alcohol-related issues.
Undertake Alcohol Addiction Education for Yourself
Before you reach out to others, it’s important that you understand the issues involved. Any solid alcohol addiction education includes awareness of how to identify alcohol problems. Today, doctors don’t diagnose alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, as a separate condition. Instead, they view it as one possible form of an alcohol use disorder or AUD.
Why is this the case? Not everyone with AUD is suffering an addiction to alcohol. Instead, some people have a dysfunctional pattern of non-addicted alcohol abuse. What’s more, addiction and non-addicted abuse are not entirely separate problems. You may only develop symptoms of one of them. But overlapping symptoms are also possible. There are a total of 11 addiction- and abuse-related AUD symptoms. Affected people have two or more of these symptoms.
It’s also important to understand the types of alcohol use that can lead to AUD. There are two main dangerous patterns:
- Binge drinking
- Heavy drinking
Binge drinking occurs when you drink enough to rapidly get drunk. Heavy drinking occurs when you regularly exceed the recommended limits for moderate alcohol use.
Help Friends or Loved Ones Increase Their Alcohol Addiction Awareness
Once you know the facts about risky drinking and AUD, talk to your friends and loved ones. Make sure they have the same reliable information. By having conversations like these, you can help make the discussion of alcohol problems more acceptable. You can also help ensure that rumors and hearsay regarding the effects of alcoholism don’t carry the day.
You may know someone you suspect is affected by AUD. If so, awareness efforts may be especially important to you. You may end up helping a friend or loved one in need of treatment. However, ask a doctor or other professional for advice before doing anything potentially confrontational. The guidance you receive can help any treatment-related conversations go more smoothly.
Support National Alcohol Awareness Month
In the U.S., April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. The goals of this month include increasing awareness of:
- Risky drinking behaviors
- The need for treatment if you are affected by AUD
- Harmful stigmas that can stop people from getting help
Groups throughout the country take an active role in supporting such goals. Sponsoring organizations in your area may include churches, hospitals, and addiction treatment centers. They may also include schools, local law enforcement, and coalition groups.
You can support alcohol addiction awareness by supporting a participating organization. Financial contributions are just one option. You can also help spread the word through Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. You may also take a more active role in a local awareness group.
Turn to New Start Recovery for More Information on Alcohol Addiction Awareness
Need more information on the risks of alcoholism? Talk to the professionals at New Start Recovery. We’ll help you educate yourself and get the facts on risky drinking.
New Start is also here for you if you or your loved one have AUD-related symptoms. We specialize in both alcohol detox and primary addiction treatment. The support we provide can help you recover, even if you are heavily affected by AUD. To get started, call us today at 833.433.0448 or fill out our online information form.