OP-ED: April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Published 12:26 am Saturday, April 3, 2021

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Kim Bartel

For more than forty years, Gary’s life has revolved around alcohol. It has adversely impacted every aspect of his life: his wife has left him, his children seldom speak to him, he struggles keeping a job, and now his health is failing. Over the years, Gary has tried and failed time and time again to stop. Now he feels it’s pointless to even try to quite anymore. “I’ve failed in the past, why would today be any different?”

Variations of this story is played out repeatedly especially now as alcohol sales have increased during the pandemic. It may even be your story, but your story does not have to end in despair. There is hope for healing and help for restoration. Everyday thousands of people begin on the road of recovery and today could be the start of a new path in life for you.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month which is a public health initiative supported by the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas as a way of increasing outreach and education regarding the dangers of alcoholism and issues related to alcohol. The purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month is to draw attention to the stigma that still surrounds alcoholism and substance abuse in general. For many, denial is a common trait among those that are ensnared by alcoholism or alcohol abuse. Those that struggle with alcohol often underestimate how often they drink, how much they drink, it’s impact on their life, and their level of addiction.

The consumption of alcohol is often normalized within our culture. However, while advertisers attempt to put a positive spin on alcohol, there are adverse effects from alcohol consumption. Alcohol in all forms (beer, wine, and liquor) contain Ethanol (ethyl-alcohol) which is toxic to the human body. This is why the body experiences “hangovers” as a warning that it has been poisoned and is struggling to recover.

Ultimately, the worst part is the development of a dependence to alcohol. Once the misuse of alcohol takes hold, even though one may realize the damage that is being caused due to the consumption of alcohol, they may still feel compelled to continue drinking and remain on a path of destruction. At this point the brain has been reprogramed to consumed alcohol…regardless. However, it is never too late. There is a way and a road to recovery.

Today would be the perfect day to turn your life around and to take your life down a new path. There are people willing to walk with you and to show you there is a way out of alcoholism and substance misuse. Even in this time of “social distancing,” help is available for you. Begin today by reaching out to ADAC and calling (936) 634-5753. You CAN do it.

Kim Bartel is Data Coordinator with Region 5 Prevention Resource Center Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council