What’s the most commonly-used drug in the United States? It’s probably available in a can, bottle or glass somewhere near you. According to the NIH, over 86% of Americans aged 18 or older report drinking at some point in their lives, while 56% report drinking in the past month.
Having a glass of wine at the end of a long day or meeting friends for a few beers can be a great way to unwind, but many people struggle with binge drinking and alcohol abuse. To commemorate Alcohol Awareness Month, we’re sharing information about drinking, getting help for you or a loved one, and other ways you can support organizations formed to fight the disease of alcoholism.
Facts about Alcohol
About one in every 12 adults in the United States deals with alcohol abuse or dependence, while several million more engage in risky drinking behavior that often leads to alcoholism. In the long-term, excessive alcohol use can lead to problems like:
- Dementia and stroke
- Cardiovascular disorders like hypertension
- Depression and anxiety
Each year, about 88,000 people die from excessive alcohol use. As many as 40% of all U.S. hospital beds are being used to treat conditions related to the consumption of alcohol. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) established Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987 to provide information about alcoholism and encourage people struggling with drinking to seek help.
How can you get involved?
One of the best ways to support the NCADD is by volunteering. There are several different types of volunteer positions available, including supporting the logistics of local events, answering phones, preparing mailers, and participating in fundraisers. By volunteering for the NCADD you can make a real difference in someone’s life, develop your own skills, and give back to your community.
You can also contribute to the NCADD through donations. These gifts provide help and support to individuals and families affected by alcohol dependence. If you’d prefer, you can make your donation in honor of a friend or loved one.
Getting support for alcoholism
Addiction is a powerful disease. Many alcoholics feel strong cravings to drink that are comparable to the desire for food and water. However, millions of people who suffer from addiction to alcohol have been able to get the help needed to recover and live normal lives.
The theme of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery.” To learn more about treatment for alcohol addiction, check out the NCADD’s website. You can also use the site to find local support for a drinking problem.
At the American Inn of Bethesda, we do our best to support the NCADD, NIH, and other organizations that promote safe and healthy lifestyles in our community. We encourage all of our customers, staff, and friends in the neighborhood to make decisions that will improve the quality of their lives. If you, a friend, or family member is struggling with drinking, talk to them about it or seek help as soon as you can.