Spring is official. New beginnings, blessings and opportunities are all around us!
Since the beginning of 2021, I have focused and tried to share ways to cope and to take positive actions for the future. Lodge 1108 DAP has highlighted resources to make you feel better and healthier, as well as ideas for creating more enjoyable and loving ways to interact with your children and family.
Hooray! We have made the one-year anniversary since the start of the COVID Pandemic, and all the changes and challenges it has played on our lives in horrible ways: including economic losses, excessive drug use, abuse and addiction.
As you are probably aware, COVID did bring increases in drug use and abuse, leading to additional physical and mental health illnesses such as depression, paranoia, social problems, crimes and even suicides. Although adults are plagued by these problems, adolescents were especially vulnerable and affected during the last year.
April is a month to celebrate our own re-birth from these seemingly never-ending disasters, including drug use and abuse. April is also the official Alcohol Awareness Month established in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (https://ncaddms.org/) to provide outreach and education regarding dangerous alcohol abuse and alcoholism/addiction. One of the significant traits is denial. People underestimate the amount they drink, the duration of their drinking problem and the impact it has had on their life. Also they overestimate their ability to control their drinking or to quit.
By breaking through denial and shame and seeking help from support groups, therapy, spiritual guidance, treatment and/or one’s own awareness of addiction, a person and his/her family can overcome what seems to be like the COVID Pandemic, but multiplied. Through education and understanding, lives can find HOPE, FAITH, HELP and HEALING leading to physical and emotional well-being, economic stability, social connections and opportunities for growth and enrichment.
• About 14.5 million Americans have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)—1 out of 7 people
• 26% individuals binge drink—4 drinks for women, 5 drinks for men, in 2 hours
• Drinking is a Rite-of-Passage in high schools and college
• Age 15 vs. age 21 drinkers are 6 times more likely to get AUD
• 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes each year
• 31% of all driving fatalities are alcohol related (3rd leading preventable cause of death in USA)
National Elks DAP have three free brochures and videos on Alcohol Use Disorder
• Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
• Binge Drinking by Adolescents and College Students
• Drug-Impaired Driving: What You Should Know
Local Support Groups:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): https://www.aa.org/
Adult Children of Alcoholics Anonymous (ACAA): https://adultchildren.org/
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/