Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month in April. This month is intended to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol abuse in local communities. It’s also a time to reduce the stigmas associated with alcoholism and point people in the direction of community resources.
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Treatment and Prevention of Alcoholism
This month’s theme for Alcohol Awareness Month is “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.” In support of this theme, local, state and national events are being held across the nation to educate people on the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly in the vulnerable youth population.
This year’s theme is also hoping to remind parents of the important role they play in keeping their teens safe from drugs and alcohol.
Help for Alcohol Abuse is Available
The NCADD has an excellent brochure on alcohol and drug addiction and how it can happen to the best of families. You can download your free copy here.
The brochure lists the contact information of self-help groups such as Al-Anon and Alateen. It also addresses the challenges that families face when going through an addiction in the family. This is especially heightened if Mom or Dad is dealing with an addiction as well.
Fortunately, there is help available that is both accessible and effective. As a matter of fact, millions of families are living in healthy recovery as we speak.
Guidelines for Talking with Teens and Young Adults
The NCADD recommends the following tips when talking to teens and young adults about drugs and alcohol. For more information about Alcohol Awareness Month or where to find help, please visit NCADD.org.
- Be a good listener. You can’t understand the scope of the problem and offer advice until you know what the real issue is.
- Talk regularly. Don’t just take one opportunity to speak with your child and assume it’s enough. Schedule regular talks, ask questions and keep the lines of communication open.
- Ask open-ended questions. “Yes” and “no” questions are easy enough to come up with. They’re also easy enough to answer. Try asking open-ended questions that push your child to engage in conversation.
- Be involved. The best way to know what’s going on is to be involved. Know your teen’s friends, attend their activities, encourage them to join you for family outings and more.
- Set expectations and boundaries. Teens need to know what is expected of them and what happens if they cross these boundaries. You are the parent. You make these rules.
- Be open, honest and positive. Many parents find that talking openly about drugs and alcohol builds bridges, not walls.
The River Source offers holistic treatment for drug and alcohol addicts, ages 18 and older. If you suspect that your loved one is struggling with addiction, call us for an assessment. We can then determine if our program is the right fit for your loved one.