Alcohol Awareness Month, observed in April, serves as a time to educate the public on alcohol and its dangers while encouraging people to make wise decisions.
Alcohol, a Very Dangerous Drug
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages are grouped under drugs called depressants. Depressants are drugs which alter the function of the central nervous system by affecting neurons there. This results in symptoms such as drowsiness, lack of facial expression and slurred speech among many other things. Alcohol itself has many detrimental effects on the body. Long term effects of alcohol abuse include pancreatitis and liver disease.
Although alcohol can be so harmful, it is still one of the most abused legal drugs in the world. It is therefore fitting that the public is made aware of the consequences of alcohol abuse during Alcohol Awareness month. Alcohol affects everybody, be it directly or indirectly. It is necessary then, that everyone is knowledgeable of the problems brought about by alcohol abuse, as well as the solutions to those problems.
Facts about Alcohol Abuse
Many people are aware that alcohol is dangerous but do not know exactly how much danger alcohol already poses to society. Here are some statistics according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(NIAAA) and The Alcohol and Drug Addiction Help Center:
- Almost fourteen million Americans, that is one in every thirteen adults, are alcohol abusers. Less than 25% of these get necessary treatment every year.
- Approximately one in four children who are younger than eighteen have been exposed to alcohol abuse.
- People who are starting with drinking before being 15 years old are 4 times likely to be dependent on alcohol in comparison to people who begin drinking at the age of twenty or older.
- Underage drinking is more likely to kill young people than illegal drugs. About five U.S students die each day as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
- Alcoholism is the third leading cause of preventable death in America, causing the death of about 85 000 Americans every year.
- About seventy-five percent of abusive husband or wives have been drinking prior to or at the time of the abuse
- Fetal Alcoholic Spectrum Disorders(FASD) are the leading preventable cause of birth defects in the U.S.
- A quarter of all admissions to the emergency rooms, a third of all committed suicides and more than half of all homicides or any kind of incidents including domestic violence are alcohol-related.
Alcoholism is quickly destroying society. Thankfully, there are many advocates who promote and alcohol-free society such as the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Center, NIAAA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). These people and organizations try their best to create public awareness, especially during alcohol awareness month, of the threat of alcoholism and the ways by which it can be stopped.