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Just in case you, or someone you know, needs help!

I had every intention of writing this post and sharing it at the beginning of the month, but I had, what I thought, was a sick baby. Still not sure what had her off Sunday night, but I am glad she is not sick. Being a mom and my children come first, so this post was delayed.

In any case, April is alcohol awareness month and I stumbled upon this video that I thought was so interesting. It is so true to life these days. I feel like all I see on social media is people glorifying social drinking. When I was in my 20’s I fell into the whole social drinking/bar scene and nearly fell into a drinking problem myself. I had some serious unhealed pain and it all would come flooding out when I drank. I definitely could not handle my alcohol. What is sad is that I never liked going out. I am such a homebody and love nothing more than cuddling up with a good movie or a good book and be a hermit. But, I had a need to be liked and fit in coupled with a complete inability to say no to my friends who would constantly pressure me to go out with them.

Then one day I just didn’t want to be like that anymore. I realized that there is so much more to life than that and I wanted to be sure that I was fully present and healthy. It was also during this time that I was in an abusive relationship and trying to get out and heal from that trauma. I felt like SOMETHING had to change!

“Founded and sponsored by NCADD, Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcoholism by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public each April with information about alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. However, people can and do recover. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 20 million individuals and family members are living lives in recovery!” Referenced: https://www.ncadd.org/about-ncadd/events-awards/alcohol-awareness-month

Every Friday, on my Facebook like page, I share tips for everyone to stay on track with their wellness journey through the weekend. This week I am asking people to have an alcohol-free weekend. “An integral part of NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend, which takes place on the first weekend of April to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting individuals, families, businesses and our communities. During Alcohol-Free Weekend, NCADD extends an open invitation to all Americans to engage in three alcohol-free days. Those individuals or families who experience difficulty or discomfort in this 72-hour experiment are urged to contact local NCADD affiliates, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Al-Anon to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms.” While this was supposed to be observed last weekend, I missed that and ANY weekend is a good weekend to give this a try!

I couldn’t end this post without sharing some facts and statistics:

  • Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.
  • Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21
  • More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol.
  • Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can affect all aspects of a person’s life.  Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health complications, can damage emotional stability, finances, career, and impact one’s family, friends, and community.
  • 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use
  • Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation
  • Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death
  • Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) and Step Onto My Mat Wellness remind you that if your drinking has caused problems in your relationships, at work, at home, financially, physically or legally, it may be time to get help. For more information about alcoholism and recovery in Richmond, Va., call 804-419-4726.  Help is available right now.

SOME HELPFUL INTERNET LINKS:

o National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD): www.ncadd.org

o Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): www.aa.org

o Al-Anon Family Groups: www.al-anon.alateen.org

o National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): www.niaaa.nih.gov

o College Drinking: Changing the Culture (NIAAA): www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov

o Stop Underage Drinking: Portal of Federal Resources: www.stopalcoholabuse.gov

o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Alcohol and Public Health: www.cdc.gov/Alcohol

o Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth: www.camy.org

o Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS): www.alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/UnderageDrinking.html

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