We need to talk about Alcohol. April is Alcohol Awareness Month. And you are certainly aware of alcohol--that often intoxicating beverage legal to those 21+, which can cause euphoria, reduce anxiety, drunkenness, and more. And we want to help raise awareness of the state of alcohol in our state of New Hampshire. While some may view having a beer, or attending your first party with “booze” at the lake as a passageway to adulthood-- it’s not. Rites of passage don’t come with threats to health, freedom and penalties.
Partnership for a Drug-Free NH in conjunction with the NCADD would like to encourage parents, or responsible parties to take advantage of “teachable moments” to help kids and teens learn about underage drinking. It’s not so much about having “the big talk,” but about being there for them when the issues come up -- on TV, at movies, on the radio; about celebrities or sports figures, or about their friends. And, while it’s not about having “the big talk,” it can be about having lots of little talks. In helping change attitudes, help kids understand that drinking isn’t a “rite of passage.” It’s not a way to be independent, “cool,” or to fit in socially. They can learn that alcohol is not necessary to have a great time. Non-use of alcohol is a healthy and viable option. You can learn to respect the decision not to drink alcohol. In the very least, it can help keep you healthy, free from fines, and out of the headlines.
Thinking about Drinking...
This month can be an opportunity to be mindful about drinking habits and assess if there is a need to cut back or ask for help. You or a loved one may want to consider answering the following questions in order to be honest about the role alcohol plays in your lives:
- Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
- Does your drinking ever make you late for work?
- Does your drinking worry your family?
- Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won’t?
- Do you ever forget what you did while drinking?
- Do you get headaches or have a hangover after drinking?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may have a problem with alcohol. Confidential help is available. Call the NH Statewide Addiction Crisis Line at: 1.844.711.4357 (HELP) for more information or speak with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Other Helpful Resources:
- Rethinking Drinking—Alcohol & Your Health
- NH Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous
- NH Resource Guide for Prevention & Treatment Services
If you or someone you know is experiencing an addiction-related crisis, dial 2-1-1 to be directed to your nearest Doorway.