Shedding a Spotlight on Alcohol

By Amy Tilley, PsyD


Each year national agencies shed a spotlight on alcohol awareness, in hopes of educating the public about the dangers of alcohol consumption, alcohol use disorder, and its effects on society—mentally, physically, and emotionally. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 140,000 people die each year of alcohol misuse, making it one of the leading causes of preventable deaths.


No one takes their first drink with the intention of becoming an alcoholic. 


Alcohol misuse has impacts on families, friendships, and work-related activities. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 28.8 million adults had an alcohol use disorder in 2022. That equates to about 1 in 5 people who participated in the survey that year.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use disorder there is help. Getting help can begin with an individual therapy appointment to assess the most appropriate course of treatment. If someone is intoxicated and in need of acute medical attention, detox services are available. Hospitals and approved medical detox centers provide the level of care needed for someone detoxing from alcohol. Individuals need to be medically monitored while their body withdrawals from alcohol. Once safely detoxed from alcohol, treatment can begin on an outpatient or inpatient/residential level.

Outpatient treatment can include individual therapy, intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization programs. These programs vary in length and are helpful for people who are not able take a significant amount of time off of work or family commitments. Residential treatment is typically 30-45 days in length, allowing individuals to live 24/7 at a treatment facility and receive treatment seven days a week during their stay.


What you can do during Alcohol Awareness Month

Become informed about how alcohol impacts the body in the short and long term.

Talk with your children about alcohol abuse and misuse (alcohol misuse can start at any age).

Talk with your loved one if you are concerned about their alcohol intake

Seek help: call the local crisis line for resources. Go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Call a trusted clergy or mental health professional for resources or to make an initial appointment.

For professionals: make a concerted effort during this month to talk about options with your clients.


There is always help available to you or your loved one. Recovery can begin today.