April 2021 is Alcohol Awareness Month. A public health awareness campaign held annually each April, Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 by the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) to increase awareness, education, and understanding of the dangers of alcohol, especially in young people, causes of alcoholism, and treatment of alcohol use disorder.
Through national, regional, state, and local events, Alcohol Awareness Month attempts to spread awareness about alcohol use disorder and alcoholism, reduce the stigma association with alcoholism and addiction, and bring education, understanding, and resources to communities throughout the country. The importance of Alcohol Awareness Month now is as important as it was when it began in 1987, as alcohol is the most used and misused substance by both youth and adults throughout the United States. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), based on a 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 85.6% of people 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point during their lifetime, 69.5% reported that they drank alcohol within the last year, and 54.9% of people reported that they drank alcohol within the last month. The same study also found that of people 18 years of age and older, 25.8% reported that they engaged in some form of binge drinking behaviors in the past month, with 6.3% reporting that they engaged in heavy alcohol use within the past month.
Throughout the month of April, national and local health organizations, clinical professionals, treatment centers, and community organizations will engage in numerous events and campaigns to bring about more awareness of alcohol, alcohol abuse and misuse, alcoholism, and treatment options for those dealing with problems associated with alcohol. This will include outreach events, marketing and advertising campaigns, educational events, and community partnerships to help break the stigma of alcoholism, create a better understanding of alcoholism as a chronic, progressive disease, and increase the awareness of prevention and treatment options for those who suffer from alcoholism.
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