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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April 1, 2022

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and this gives us an opportunity to think about our drinking habits and how alcohol affects our lives. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (“NCADD”) established National Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987. NCADD was formed by Marty Mann, who was among the first female members of Alcoholics Anonymous and the first woman to complete a 12-step program. She started NCADD to assist others like herself in receiving counseling and treatment for alcoholism, and she committed this organization to providing important medical and scientific research for the community. Encouraged by the large number of families entering recovery, NCADD set April as the month to bring about a countrywide shift by leveraging communication tools to raise awareness about binge drinking and how much more harmful it can be than just a night of fun.

The majority of individuals in the United States who use alcohol do so in moderation and without causing harm. However, at the same time, alcohol-related disorders represent one of the country’s most serious public health challenges. In the United States, almost 17 million persons suffer with Alcohol Use Disorder (“AUD”), and 261 people die every day as a result of excessive alcohol use. Furthermore, statistics show that around 60% of people increased their alcohol intake during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Thankfully, the NYCDCC MEND program helps our members and their families get the help they need. If you or a dependent are struggling with alcohol and/or substance use, please reach out to MEND by calling (212) 366-7590 or emailing for free and completely confidential services. Also, check out our video “April is Alcohol Awareness Month” to learn more.

How do you know alcohol has become a problem for you or a loved one? Where do you go for help?

In the past year, have you:

  • Had moments when you drank much more, or longer, than you intended?
  • Attempted to cut down or stop drinking, but failed to do so?
  • Been so desperate for a drink that you couldn’t think of anything else?
  • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — made it difficult to care for your house or family? Or harmed your career prospects?
  • Continued to drink despite the fact that it was generating conflict with your family or friends?
  • Given up or reduced your participation in things that were important or enjoyable to you in order to drink?
  • More than once gotten into situations during or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or engaging in unsafe sexual behavior)?
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had an alcohol-related memory blackout?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, dysphoria (feeling uneasy or unhappy), malaise (general sense of being unwell), feeling low, or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?
  • Drank alcohol to feel better, cope with stress or other problems? 

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, excessive alcohol use may be an issue for you. Long-term alcohol abuse can also lead to serious complications:

  • 75% of esophageal cancers are attributable to chronic excessive alcohol consumption.
  • There are more deaths and disabilities each year in the U.S. from substance abuse than from any other cause.
  • Nearly 50% of cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx are associated with heavy drinking.
  • As many as 35% of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis.
  • Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with 10% increase in a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
  • As many as 36% of the cases of primary liver cancer are linked to heavy chronic drinking.
  • Heavy chronic drinking contributes to approximately 65% of all cases of pancreatitis.
  • Alcoholics are 10 times more likely to develop carcinoma than the general population.
  • Among emergency room patients admitted for injuries, 47% tested positive for alcohol and 35% were intoxicated; of those who were intoxicated, 75% showed signs of chronic alcoholism.
  • Accidents related to alcohol use are among the leading causes of death for teens.