April Is Alcohol Awareness Month

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April Is Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness MonthThis month marks the 31st celebration of Alcohol Awareness Month, founded and sponsored by The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism and educate communities about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease and people do recovery. In fact, roughly 20 million individuals and family members are living lives in recovery, notes the NCADD.

This year’s theme “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage” is designed to educate young people on the dangers of alcohol use and to encourage parents, caregivers and communities to spread the message as well.

“We often forgive underage drinking as a ‘rite of passage.’ We can simply sit back and hope kids will ‘get through it,’ or we can change our attitude and help kids understand that drinking isn’t a “rite of passage;” it’s not a way to feel or be independent, “cool” or to fit in socially,” explains NCADD in a press release.

According to NCADD, imparting a positive message to adolescents is more than just having “the big talk” but taking advantage of “teachable moments” and being there for them when any issues arise. This is what will help “build bridges rather than walls,” says NCADD.

Parents play a big role in a child’s decision to drink or to not drink. And the longer we delay our kids from drinking, the fewer problems that arise, including addiction.

Here are a few guidelines from the NCADD to help parents and caregivers talk to kids about making smart decisions about alcohol use:

  • Listen before you talk.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Be involved.
  • Be honest and open.
  • Be positive.
  • Be matter of fact, if there’s a family history of alcoholism.

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