The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, or NCADD, has sponsored an Alcohol Awareness Month each April for 30 years.
Ever since the first Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987, the goal of the program has been to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma, and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.
Each April, there is a different theme. The 2016 theme is “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use”.
Parents are key to alcohol awareness
During April, there will be events at the local, state and national levels. Each of these aim to educate the public about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism. With this year’s theme focusing on young people, the important role that parents play is the forefront of the effort. Parents play a crucial role in the equation for obvious reasons: They are role models for their kids, and they might be able to reach their kids on this topic where others aren’t so successful.
According to the NCADD website, www.ncadd.org, the national organization is working with local affiliates this month — as well as schools, colleges, churches and other community organizations — to sponsor activities that create awareness about the dangers of alcohol abuse. These programs encourage individuals and families to get help for alcohol issues and show them where they can get help.
What can parents tell kids about the dangers of drinking? Plenty.
The news media is filled with stories about the consequences of young people abusing alcohol. Traffic accidents and traffic fatalities, violent acts including rape, and even suicide number among them. Kids who get hooked on alcohol can zone out in school and see their grades suffer. At home, they can become detached from their parents and other family members who love them.
Even for those young people who never develop an addiction or a dependency on alcohol, one mistake — for example, one night of excessive drinking — can lead to dire consequences. It could be an underage-drinking arrest, or a DUI, or an accident that wrecks dad’s car. Suddenly, that teenager has a black mark on his record. Certainly, that is something unwanted when a young person starts applying for college or seeks a good job.