Leadership News

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Alcohol Awareness Month

It’s Alcohol Awareness Month! 6 Ways You Can Get Involved

Posted by: Ana Tellez
HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

April 20, 2010 - The Bad News: According to recent surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol is linked to 79,000 deaths per year, 5,000 deaths of people under age 21 and hundreds of injuries such as falls, burns and drownings. This includes people in and around the military community.

The Good News: April marks Alcohol Awareness Month—a national health observance to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy, safe choices. This is where you come in. Though the health observance is officially sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), numerous resources exist across government to support you in addressing alcohol awareness in your home and in your community.

Here are six ways you can get involved:

1.Encourage others. You can be a role-model and get others involved in alcohol awareness. Learn about ways to get involved and find online resources, tools, and more in healthfinder.gov’s Alcohol Awareness toolkit.

2.Know the warning signs of alcohol abuse. How you answer these six questions can help give you answers to your health. Be honest with yourself—it’s the first step to a healthier you. After all, you don’t want to become “that guy.”

3.Learn how to cut back or quit drinking. If you are drinking too much, these three steps can help you cut back and enjoy a healthier life. You may even need to consider quitting altogether.

4.Avoid alcohol while pregnant. This seems simple, but it’s vital to the health of the baby. Avoiding alcohol while pregnant helps prevent birth defects, developmental disorders and fetal alcohol spectrum syndrome. If you know someone who is pregnant, send them this e-card as a friendly reminder of this important health tip.

5.Talk to your family and kids. Research shows that kids do listen to their parents. Talk to your kids about alcohol, and while you’re at it, talk to them about tobacco and other drugs too. Knowing the facts will help your child lead a healthier lifestyle. For added support, look into the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Rethinking Drinking campaign, SAMHSA’s “Talk Early. Talk Often.,” campaign, and StopAlcoholAbuse.gov to stay updated, informed and equipped on how to prevent underage drinking.

6.Seek support. Making a lifestyle change is hard to do on your own. If you want to take the next step in addressing the role of alcohol in your life or know of a friend or family member who wants to make a change and seek treatment, you can use SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator or call 1–800–662–HELP. The important thing is not to give up—on yourself, your friends or your community. We are in this together.

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