In 1999, the first National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) event took place. Over 50,000 people attended the events at 1,500 screening centers across the United States, where they received screening for and advice on alcohol dependence. This event, started by the National Institutes Of Health (NIH), was the beginning of a yearly initiative to raise awareness of alcohol use and abuse. The hope was to show that alcohol use disorders are treatable and help participants get on the path of recovery. This year, NASD is on April 7, 2021.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction isn’t something that people realize they have an issue with until it is too late. That’s because our society normalizes drinking, from holiday parties to relaxing after work to a night in town. It can be hard to determine when a person has crossed the line between social drinking and alcohol abuse. Signs of alcohol addiction include:
- Hiding alcohol use
- Missing work or other events to drink
- Financial problems
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after stopping use
- Developing a tolerance for drinking
- Neglecting or avoiding responsibilities
- Dangerous drinking habits
- Getting into frequent trouble due to drinking
- Underestimating the issue or shifting blame
- Becoming dependent on alcohol to get through the day
Alcohol dependency is also harmful to both the body and mind and can have long-lasting effects on a person. Understanding the reason behind someone’s addiction can be helpful as well.
The Harm of Alcohol Dependency
Alcohol abuse is known to cause many health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and sexual problems. It can also exacerbate mental health issues that are already present. There is also an increased risk for other health issues for those with a long-term alcohol addiction, including:
- Certain cancers
- Liver cirrhosis
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
The irritability and neglect of responsibilities associated with alcohol dependence can also cause problems with relationships, including those with a partner, friends, children, parents, and co-workers.
The Importance of Alcohol Addiction Screening
Alcohol addiction screening can help create awareness surrounding alcohol dependency. It can bring the community together to lessen the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction, which is vital because alcohol abuse is a disorder, not a personal problem or a choice. The more people who come to understand that fact, the more likely those who need treatment seek help.
During the NASD, NIH invites the public to attend one of the screenings that are available across the US. Anyone who wishes to host a screening will receive a kit that includes forms, posters, magnets, and other educational materials regarding alcohol abuse and a healthy lifestyle. During the screening, attendees are treated as individuals and with compassion, with judgment left at the door. Each person completes a written self-assessment about their alcohol use. With health care professionals on hand, they can tailor advice to each individual’s needs. During the assessment, experts share information about the different alcohol-related issues, and attendees learn where and how to get help. Those that come on behalf of a loved one can learn how to best approach the loved ones’ problem.
The Willows at Red Oak is Proud to Help Treat Alcohol Addiction in Women
The Willows at Red Oak knows the importance of alcohol addiction screening and the harm of alcohol dependency. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, The Willows at Red Oak can help, and because we are clinician-run, everyone who works here is an expert in addiction treatment. We only treat women at our center, and in doing so, can offer a more targeted approach and multiple therapy strategies. Contact us today or call us at 855.773.0614 for more information.