This month is sponsored every year by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).
Since 1987, the NCADD has been sponsoring Alcohol Awareness Month for the purpose of boosting overall public understanding and recognition of this issue and to reduce the stigma that has formed around the disease which is all too frequently a barrier to seeking help by families and individuals.
This year represents the 27th anniversary and the theme chosen by the NCADD is “Help for Today. Hope For Tomorrow”.
The theme of the Alcohol Awareness Month has been chosen in order to help place the spotlight on the persistent and ever-present impact that alcoholism and related problems have on individuals, families, young people, their friends, and communities as a whole. According to the NCADD’s statistics, 8.5 percent of Americans suffer from some kind of disorder relating to the use of alcohol. This means that it directly impacts 18 million individuals. Moreover, that impact spreads out to family members, children, friends, and the other people in the lives of those individuals.
Alcohol Awareness Month is meant to point out that 1 in 4 American kids are exposed to this kind of disorder within the family.
This doesn’t include the exposure of those children within the context of friends and their families as that figure is much more challenging and complex to calculate.
The Centers for Disease Control and prevention has estimated that the economic cost to alcohol abuse and alcoholism is about $223.5 billion, which breaks down to $746 per person. Looking at this figure on a much more basic level, it means that alcoholism costs $1.90 per drink. Researchers have determined that a great deal of those costs are the outcome of losses in productivity at work (72 percent), as well as excessive drinking related health care expenses (11 percent), criminal justice and law enforcement expenses connected to excessive consumption of alcohol (9 percent), and costs linked to motor vehicle crashes from impaired drivers (6 percent).
Another important message that is being shared over Alcohol Awareness Month is the considerable physical, emotional, and financial burden that is placed on the children and family members affected by alcoholism. Three out of every four cases of domestic abuse occur when either one or both people are intoxicated. Family members of people with alcohol problems use health care service twice as often than those who are not affected by alcoholism.