The Real March Madness

As we all may know, March is known for St. Patrick’s Day, wearing green, the coming of Spring, and college basketball otherwise known as March Madness.

Although filling out your impeccable bracket is madness enough, there is even more madness that arises after March.

April is Alcohol awareness month. In 1987, the month of April was given this title to reduce the stigma of alcoholism and to bring the issue to the public’s eye. The truth is, “…about 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder. This means that their drinking causes distress and harm. It includes alcoholism and alcohol abuse” (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2017).

According to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2017), nationally in 2012, 18%.3 percent of people were binge drinkers. A binge drinker is someone who consumes four-five drinks or more on one or more occasions according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control, 2017). Binge drinking is one-step that can lead a person into alcohol abuse.

How do you know if you or a loved one is at risk or on the verge of alcoholism? Some people may go for years of no one knowing or recognizing the signs of alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Untreated alcohol abuse or alcoholism can lead to severe damage of the body. Here are some significant signs of alcohol dependence:

·       Consuming large amounts of alcohol (4-5 drinks per regular occasion)

·       Beginning each day with a drink

·       Cravings

·       Blackouts

·       Dizziness

·       Aggressiveness

·       Agitation

·       Compulsive behavior

·       Vomiting

·       Delirium

·       Slurred speech

As stated before, people can hide their alcohol abuse. In order to know if someone has an alcohol problem, look for these signs. Usually a family member or friend who is close to the person will be able to try to spot the signs.

If these signs are found, one should not make the loved one feel ashamed or discouraged. The first step in helping someone with alcoholism is to let the person know that there is someone who can help. Let them know that you want to give them the help they need. Bring up the signs to their attention and suggest where to go for help. Going with them to get help shows that you are there for their benefit and support. Let them know that you care and explain to them why you want to help them and try to understand that there is a reason they feel the need to over consume alcohol.

Alcohol abuse can break families a part and can make a person do actions that he or she may not even realize they are doing. Recognizing alcoholism and making sure that a loved one gets the proper care needed can help not only the person with the alcohol disorder, but can also bring the family back together and can make each other stronger.

Here are some helpful sites for more information and steps to help anyone you know who might be alcohol dependent:

https://medlineplus.gov/alcoholismandalcoholabuse.html

https://www.ncadd.org/about-ncadd/events-awards/alcohol-awareness-month  

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-alcohol-use.html

https://www.cdc.gov/