Alcoholism is a deadly disease, let’s make people aware before it’s too late.
How It Started
Every year since 1987 Alcohol Awareness month has taken place. This is the first year that Motivation to Stop is writing about it, and God willing will be writing about it for years to come. It was started by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) as a way to bring alcoholism out in the open bring awareness to the disease.
A woman named Marty Mann, who was an alcoholic herself started the NCADD but was originally called the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism back in 1944.
She was looking to break that characterization that an alcoholic developed. Back then it wasn’t looked at as a disease, and she wanted nothing more to help her fellow alcoholic.
Alcohol Use Disorder
Working in the AOD field, there are many different types of people I have come across with a disorder to alcohol and I’d like to give you an insight as what it may look like.
Alcoholism is not always the homeless man you always see on the freeway off/on ramps it can be absolutely anyone. It is anyone who uses alcohol to a point where it becomes an issue in their life. When you start to notice it is becoming an issue and yet you still cannot control the urge to drink. I may dare say you have a problem.
You may need to drink a little more each night to get a good buzz going it may be another beer or shot or glass of whatever it is you drink. I can say you have a problem. When you wake up in the morning and start to feel a little sick and the only way you start to feel better is by having another drink. There is a problem.
Then we have the binge drinker, the high school kids, the college-aged, the mom or dad on the weekends, or anyone on the weekends.
This is drinking so much during a short period of time that the intake is extensive. Here is a little comparison of what I’m talking about. For women having maybe 3 to 4 or 4 to 5 drinks in a two-hour time span. In men, it can be 4 to 5 to 5 to 6 drinks in a two-hour time span. If you are drinking more than that on a daily basis and you don’t think you have a problem then good for you!
This is not what people would associate as an alcohol use disorder, but the fact of the matter it is.
This type of drinking can also develop health issues for your short or long term (we don’t want permanent health issues death).
Definition of “one drink”
5 oz. 80 proof liquor
12 oz. Beer
8 oz. Malt liquor
5 oz. Wine
That is what one drink looks like to the medical community. When your doctor says it’s okay for you to have one glass of wine at dinner it means 5 oz.’s not the big tumbler glass you fill up.
There are obvious signs of alcoholism, and then there are not so obvious. If you happen to experience as I mentioned early that sick feeling in the morning like “vomiting, shakiness, the sweats, and possibly trouble sleeping you have some symptoms of what is called alcohols detoxification aka “hangover”. Many try to fight off this by drinking more of course. As it may seem minor to you a pattern is developing a cycle I should say. The cycle will start to lead to problems. When you notice you are trying to stop but have these uncontrollable urges to drink, it is time for you to ask for help.
The drinking will start to cause conflict in your life besides health issues. You’ll start to miss work more and more. The daily activities you use to do with the family will start to fade away from you. Your friends will eventually stop coming around or vice versa. You may not consciously realize what is happening until it’s too late. When the drinking starts to create those types of family and social problems, ask yourself if you have a problem.
Who Can Help?
There are many organizations committed to assisting alcoholics to overcome their addictions. Taking the first step to admitting you need help is the biggest obstacle for all of us.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)- The organization that has helped millions of alcoholics and continues doing so. Started by alcoholics and continues to be run by alcoholics. Meetings in every city and town worldwide.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)- A resource valued at promoting awareness across the US focused on prevention, treatment and continued research on understanding alcoholism.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD)- This group is dedicated to helping others at their midpoint of trying to get out of their addictions. By offering the information needed and connections to resources where one can receive the proper help they need.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)- Creating campaigns to build awareness about drunk driving to children and adults. Developed by Candace Lightner after losing her teenage daughter to a drunk driver.
There are many programs and organizations to help you out and programs to help loved ones affected by alcoholism. Please do not hesitate to leave me a comment if you’d like to learn more.
The Lives This Impacts
Bringing out awareness is all that can be done. While alcohol consumption will continue to be a leading cause of death in 1 out of 10 adults between the ages of 20 and 64. That means roughly 100,000 lives are lost just to excessive alcohol abuse not to mention the innocent lives also being taken in the process. It’s why we do this, the organizations the little websites like this to prevent those kinds of senseless deaths across the world.
There are 20 + million people across the world that are in recovery and I’m just trying to show at least one still struggling that it can happen. Recovery and anything is possible once we set our minds to it.
If you are suffering or know someone that may be suffering from alcoholism (any form of addiction) please spread the awareness and educate others. Please do not end up like any of the scenarios I write about. Recognize the problem realize there is a problem and deal with it head-on. Whatever you may be dealing is a temporary problem don’t let alcoholism lead to you to a permanent solution you or no one else wants.
Are you or a loved one is struggling w/addiction and would like more information, please contact 1-888-633-3239