April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to share information about alcohol misuse. This year’s theme is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”

Alcohol use disorder is “a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health (NIAAA)

People can and do recover. Recovery is a lifetime endeavor to resist relapsing. NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, now known as Facing Addiction with NCADD) lists “recovery capital” for those in recovery. The more the individuals can access these things, the better the chance they have for long term recovery.

— Social: family, friends, community supports.

— Physical: money and property.

— Human: skills, education, personal drive.

— Cultural: values, beliefs, attitudes linking social conformity and social behaviors.

Recovery is “a positive change in the whole person,” and about 23 million Americans are living in recovery, which is unique to each person. SAMHSA(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) defines recovery as “a dynamic change process through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.” Recovery is a process, not a completed state of being. The goal is always to be working toward a better life.

Drinking too much increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease and some types of cancer, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It puts the individual at risk of heart disease and stroke.

Do you think you might have a problem with alcohol? To find out, you can take the quiz at https://www.facingaddiction.org/resources/addiction-quizzes.

It is recommended that small changes be made … keeping track of drinking, setting drinking limits. Talk to your children about the risks of alcohol. Consider the benefits of drinking less or not drinking alcohol at all.

In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that alcohol contributed to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions … Globally, alcohol misuse was the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability in 2010; among people ages 15-49, it is the first. More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, per a 2012 study. In the U.S., NIAAA says that annually, there are 15.1 million adults, age 18 and older, who struggle with alcohol use disorder, with 6.7 percent receiving treatment. Of youth, ages 12-17, there are 623,000 with 5.2 percent receiving treatment. An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

The most common issues related to substance abuse are absenteeism, fatalities, injuries, lost productivity, low employee morale and theft. It is a health issue, not a personal choice.

Knowledge is key for everyone.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded in part by SAMHSA.