April is Alcohol Awareness Month and it got me thinking about how addiction is viewed in the general population. Too often, society takes an “us vs. them” approach to those dealing with addiction. This, however, only adds to the trauma of addiction and further stigmatizes those going through it. In this short post, we reflect on the importance of awareness and how it can help change things for the better.
The Importance of Alcohol Awareness Month
Addiction is a brain disease. It is a medical condition.
However, we treat it differently than other diseases. We criminalize it, blame the person suffering, and assume an addict can just stop.
Then we separate ourselves from “addicts” as if people with addiction are different from us. We believe that it would never happen to me or my loved ones, that we’re the healthy ones and don’t do those types of things.
This is why Alcohol Awareness Month is so important.
It’s a continuum folks, mental health, alcohol use, you name it. There is no us vs. them, only we and various stages and degrees of health and wellness. It’s an ongoing process, taking care of oneself, monitoring how you’re doing, asking for help when needed, and looking out for others.
National Alcohol Screening Day Is on Thursday April 7th
According to Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
“National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) is an outreach, education, and screening initiative that raises awareness about harmful and dependent drinking behaviors and connects individuals who are at risk with treatment options. NASD is held annually on Thursday of the first full week of April. Thousands of colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations provide the program to the public each year.”
NASD and Alcohol Awareness Month provide a great opportunity to talk with the people you serve and to educate your staff and the community at large about alcohol use and abuse. It’s also a great time talk to your family and friends and do some self-evaluation into your own use.
That is the point of National Alcohol Awareness Month.
Reflect, take an assessment, talk to someone, and learn more about what is unhealthy alcohol use. Through these activities we can start to collectively break down the stigma around alcohol and addiction that prevents so many from getting the help they need.
Encouraging a Culture of Health and Wellness
Our Mobile Wellness Series creates a convenient, flexible way for busy front-line care staff to improve their own health and wellness so the care they provide comes from a place of balance and fortified well-being. From managing stress to improving emotional intelligence, our wellness series includes brief, mobile-friendly courses to help improve your staff’s wellness – and the quality of care they provide.Learn More →