Early Education for Alcoholism
April 18, 2022
By Stephanie Czarnecki
Heavy alcohol use contributes to approximately 95,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Over half of alcohol-related deaths are due to the health effects of extensive alcohol use, such as certain types of cancer, liver disease and heart disease.
Additional effects contributed to alcohol use include increased suicide risks, increased risk of violent behavior and negative impacts on families and friends. It is the third most preventable cause of death in the country, according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Early education and public awareness are key factors in getting information out to individuals about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism.
Early education means having age-appropriate conversations with today’s youth on the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs, including both legal and medical. Kids’ exposure to the topic is inevitable, making it all the more important for parents to initiate the conversation early and often. Creating an opportunity to have an honest discussion with kids and providing the appropriate information before they are exposed to outside influences can make an important difference in their decision to use.
Raising awareness does not start and stop with parents, though. Community groups, schools, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, substance use treatment facilities and others can help by running educational campaigns about the hazards of binge drinking and how to get treatment if you or someone you care about has a problem.
Excessive alcohol use causes damage to people, families, communities and society as a whole. Education is the key to lessening this devastation. Alcohol Awareness Month aims to dispel stereotypes about alcoholism and raise awareness about the disease.
The more we increase in public awareness of alcoholism as a chronic but treatable condition, the more people are willing to seek help. It saves lives to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol, the symptoms of an alcohol problem and to improve access to treatment resources.
By promoting early education, you are helping to get information and treatment resources out before they are in need.