Alcohol Awareness Month: Avoid OWI, DUI, and DWI’s
April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. During April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (the NCADD, for short) promotes programs that aims at increasing alcohol awareness. The council aims to provide facts about alcohol, alcohol abuse and alcoholism to the public. By building awareness, NCADD hopes to curb the negative behavior associated with alcohol consumption, such as drinking and driving.
But this month is about more than avoiding OWI’s, DUI’s, and DWI’s.
Why it’s Important to Support Alcohol Awareness Month
According to NCADD, alcohol is the most dangerous controlled substance to young people, due largely to its widespread use and ease of accessibility. Each year, roughly 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents, and even more are seriously injured. Alcohol use by young people is also relates to higher rates of traffic fatalities, deaths, suicides, violence and educational failure.
While it might seem like alcohol-related issues affect only the drinker, that is often not the case. There a number of studies that suggest that underage drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism all affect society broadly. Improper alcohol use affects public (and personal) safety. It also increases the financial burden on tax payers, with the cost of prosecuting DUI’s, OWI’s, and DWI’s.
That cost also includes repairing damaged public property, DUI, OWI, and DWI safety checkpoints, and probation enforcement (such as ignition interlock devices and electronic monitoring ankle bands). The burden adds up to $114 billion per year. Costs associated with underage drinking rack up an additional $62 billion, according to the NCADD website.
In addition to helping prevent underage drinking, helping young people remain safe, and curbing the development of alcoholism, promoting alcohol awareness month can also help bring these costs down and reduce the tax burden on tax payers.
Alcohol Awareness Month Goes Beyond Young Adults and Teens
Alcoholism can affect people of any age, but some studies have found that teens who take their first drink before they are 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism and other alcohol-related disorders. Alcohol Awareness Month aims to help recovering alcoholics, as well as prevent teens and young adults, from developing the disease. Campaigns raise awareness of the signs of alcoholism, provide resources to combat the disease and offer tips for helping loved ones who may be struggling with alcoholism.
Information about Alcohol Awareness Month
As mentioned, there’s more to it than preventing an OWI, DUI or DWI—though that’s an important part of it. Get involved in your community during Alcohol Awareness Month, as well as with your friends and family. The month about getting properly educated about alcohol use and safety. So where can you go to get the information you need to talk to someone you love, be it a friend, husband, wife, or child, about alcohol use?
We’ve pulled together some of the best online resources to help you out.
Alcohol Education, Abuse Prevention, and Community Organization Resources
Do you need to talk with someone about their use of alcohol? Whether you need to confront someone about potential alcoholism, or whether you need to talk to your teen about alcohol use, these sites will steer you in the right direction.
- Madd.org – the home of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Resources for talking to teens about alcohol use and drunk driving. Also provides victim services and resources.
- NCADD.org—National Council for Alcohol and Drug Dependence. Resources for all kinds of substance addiction, sections for both parents and teens, and a section of the site dedicated specifically to alcohol use.
- Responsibility.org – The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, funded by distillers, offers information on drunk driving statistics by state.
- NIAAA – the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. A site full of studies and research relating to alcohol use and abuse.
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