Updated: May 4, 2021
What is Alcohol Awareness Month? Alcohol Awareness Month is a national public health awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). It takes place every April. Alcohol Awareness Month was developed to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and treatment of one of America's leading public health problems - alcoholism. Established in 1987, Alcohol Awareness Month allows communities to focus on spreading and reducing the stigma associated with alcohol addiction. Observance of this awareness campaign also highlights the need for education about the dangers of unsafe alcohol use.
Why is Alcohol Awareness Month Important? Alcohol is the substance most consumed by young people and adults in the United States. According to the 2020 Future Follow-up Survey from the National Institute of Health, 55.3% of high school seniors consumed alcohol in the senior year. Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that 85.6% of people 18 years of age and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their life; 69.5% reported that they drank in the past year; 54.9% reported that they drank in the past month. In 2019, 25.8% of people 18 years and older reported that they had drunk excessively in the past month; 6.3% reported consuming a lot of alcohol in the past month. Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Approximately 95,000 Americans die each year from alcohol-related causes.
Who is Alcohol Awareness Month for? Anyone can participate in Alcohol Awareness Month initiatives and everyone benefits from learning more about public health awareness campaigns. The effects and disorders of alcohol use reach everyone. Organizations such as schools, health centers, general practitioners, community coalitions, faith-based organizations, police, substance abuse treatment organizations, and more, can participate in Alcohol Awareness Month campaigns. People like young people or parents can also participate in these initiatives. According to NCADD, local, state, and national events can be held to educate people about alcoholism treatment and prevention, particularly among our youth. Parents can play a very important role in helping children better understand the impact alcohol can have on their lives.