Founded and sponsored by NCADD, Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcoholism by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public each April with information about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. However people can and do recover. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 20 million individuals and family members are living lives in recovery!
The 2017 theme, “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery,” is designed to draw attention to the many opportunities individuals, families, and communities have to help prevent teen alcohol use. Reducing underage drinking is critical to securing a healthy future for America’s youth and in a society that continually promotes alcohol and drug use at every level, the need is great to provide education on the dangers of alcohol and/or drug abuse for children and to connect the dots that can lead to recovery.
The need to provide meaningful education on the dangers of underage drinking and drug use here in Tompkins County has never been greater. A few facts help to highlight that need:
- Alcohol and drugs are the leading causes of crime among youth.
- Alcohol and drugs are the leading factors in teenage suicide.
- More than 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and other drugs.
Parents can be a primary source of positive and reliable information. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations.
An integral part of NCADD’s Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend, which takes place on the first weekend of April (March 31-April 2, 2017) to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting families, individuals, schools, businesses and the communities in which we live. During Alcohol-Free Weekend, NCADD extends an open invitation to all Americans to engage in three alcohol-free days. Those individuals or families who experience difficulty or discomfort in this 72-hour experiment are urged to contact Alcohol & Drug Council at 607-274-6288, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Al-Anon to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms.