Alcohol Awareness Month is an opportunity for all people across America to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol addiction, its causes, effective treatment methods, and recovery. It is an opportunity to work on overcoming stigma and misconceptions about alcohol use disorder (AUD) in order to bring down barriers to treatment and recovery for those who suffer from this disease.
News and Articles
“All across the United States, individuals, families, communities, and health care providers are struggling to cope with the impacts of the opioid crisis,” wrote US Surgeon General Jerome Adams in a recent Spotlight on Opioids. “The use of illegal opioids such as heroin—a highly addictive drug that has no accepted medical use in the United States—and the misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers can have serious negative health effects.”
The continuing opioid epidemic in the United States keeps dominating the headlines, and justifiably so. Every year, drug overdose deaths reach another horrendous record. According to data provided by the Centers for Disease and Prevention, 70,237 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2017.
Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US, reported the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) in 2018. “Suicide rates increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016. Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor,” stated the CDC report.
The 2018 Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paints a grim picture of the continuing drug overdose crisis sweeping the United States.
In March 2018, The New York Times published a long-form article about what reporter Paula Span called “a quiet drug problem among the elderly”: the widespread misuse of benzodiazepines among older Americans. “For years, geriatricians and researchers have sounded the alarm about the use of benzodiazepines among older adults. Often called “benzos,” the problem drugs include Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Xanax (alprazolam) and Ativan (lorazepam).”
Many a parent or spouse have faced this dilemma. They realized that a family member has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, causing serious health problems for themselves, generating a tornado of stress and anxiety that is disrupting the entire family dynamic.
Fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, siblings want their loved one to stop misusing substances but they don’t know what to do. Simply demanding they stop or reprimanding them rarely works. Often, a more structured approach is required. You may need a formal intervention.
There has been a lot of media coverage of the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States—with good reason. Opioids are the main reason drug overdose deaths keep reaching new record levels year after year. Yet, alcohol remains the most commonly used addictive substance in the US, causing even more fatalities. And there are no indications that this is about to change.