For those that didn’t know, April is Alcohol Awareness month in the United States as designated by the U.S. Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to raise awareness about the problem of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse affects millions of Americans each year. According to MADD, every 90 seconds someone is involved in a drunk driving related accident. That is scary to me.
The basic problem with alcohol is that it affects our judgement and impulse control. Simply put, we don’t make good decisions when we are intoxicated and we end up behaving in ways we wouldn’t had we been sober. Alcohol also acts as a depressive. It makes us feel more calm and relaxed, but the side effect is that it can become addictive and it doesn’t allow us to really experience our emotions fully.
Most of my clients who experience problems with alcohol say drinking helps then “not deal” with how they are feeling. If they are anxious, angry, sad or feeling some other unpleasant emotion the drinking helps to mask those emotions. What’s the problem with that? The problem is that if one doesn’t learn how to process how they really feel, then becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs become that much easier.
So in the spirit of becoming more educated about alcohol, consider taking a short program online, or attend a few AA classes. You might be surprised at what you learn. Becoming clean from alcohol might open your eyes to becoming closer with family and friends and help the healing process in your life.