We can all do our part to prevent alcohol misuse or abuse. April is Alcohol Awareness Month and we can use this month to raise awareness about alcohol abuse and take action to prevent it, both at home and in the community.
More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many have been drinking more than usual to suppress stress and the negative emotions of missing activities or loved ones, feelings of loneliness or artificially trying to create positive feelings.
The pandemic has changed some social behavior expectations as many in-person social activities have been canceled or limited. Now people have a sense that drinking at home is okay, which can lead to some people drinking more than they would have previously.
For many, denial is a common trait among those struggling with alcoholism
or alcohol abuse. They often underestimate the amount they drink, the duration of their drinking problem, the impact it has had on their life, or overestimate their ability to control their drinking or to quit. Denial is also common among friends and family members who are uncomfortable acknowledging the gravity and reality of the situation.
“Alcohol Awareness Month is a great reminder to draw attention to the causes of alcoholism, the signs and effects of the condition, how to talk to a loved one about a drinking problem
, and how to find treatment options,” said Lori Miller, Division Manager, Substance Use Prevention & Treatment for Sacramento County Department of Health Services.
If you feel you or someone you know may be abusing alcohol:
• Get active - Stay occupied in a productive way, such as exercising, practicing hobbies, or talking with friends and family.
• Assess your habits and symptoms - Check out the online self-assessment tools created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to help you determine if the drinking is escalating, and causing distress or harm.
• Share your concerns - Have an honest, clear and direct conversation with your loved one. Don't be judgmental. Stick to the facts.
• Talk with a primary care provider
Sacramento County Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Services provides prevention and treatment services for substance (alcohol and drugs) use disorders. The program shared that approximately 18% of people who entered their service system in 2020, the primary drug of choice was alcohol. This totaled about 972 clients.
The program contracts with an array of community-based service providers throughout Sacramento County. The range of services provided through these organizations includes prevention services, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment, withdrawal management (detoxification), residential treatment, recovery residence and more.
Services are available for youth, young adults, perinatal/parenting women, adults and seniors. Services will be provided to meet your cultural and language needs free of charge.
If you feel you or a loved one may be struggling with alcoholism, you’re not alone. We understand how overwhelming it can be to consider seeking help for addiction and we’re here to take that burden off your shoulders. Staff is available to discuss your alcohol addiction treatment options and answer any questions you may have about the process. Call us today at 916-874-9754 to take the first step toward recovery and a healthier life. For youth treatment, call 916-875-2050.