These are just a few of the recent headlines from around the state referencing alcohol-related accidents. Drinking and driving is still a major public health issue, more than 35 years after the Ad Council memorably reminded us that “Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk.”
Friends also try to help each other through the tough times, and some of life’s hardest lessons are encountered by those individuals who battle alcohol addiction. In an attempt to reduce the stigma associated with this chronic disease, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has been sponsoring April as Alcohol Awareness Month since 1987.
This year’s theme for Alcohol Awareness Month is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery.” Awareness of the treatment and prevention of alcoholism coupled with encouragement to get help for alcohol-related problems benefits everyone by helping keep intoxicated drivers off the road.
Hoping to “increase awareness and understanding of alcoholism, its causes, effective treatment and recovery,” Alcohol Awareness Month seeks to make it easier for sufferers to get help and reclaim their lives. According to NCADD, excessive alcohol use is responsible for 88,000 deaths annually and an average of 30 years of potential life is lost for each death. It can lead to cardiovascular problems, psychiatric problems, liver diseases, social problems, and unintentional injuries. Many of these issues affect more than just the alcoholic, making it in everyone’s best interest to foster support and treatment options.
Recovery from this most commonly used addictive substance is possible – as many as 20 million individuals and family members in the U.S. are now doing so. Defined as “a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life,” recovery benefits us all by keeping drivers prone to alcohol abuse from imbibing in the first place.
It doesn’t take much alcohol to affect basic driving skills. Beer, wine, or hard liquor consumption impairs coordination, judgment, reaction time, concentration, comprehension, visual acuity, and more. All of these skills are prerequisites for safely driving a motor vehicle.
Not sure whether you have a problem? Alcohol Awareness Month encourages everyone to engage in three alcohol-free days. Typically observed the first weekend of April, you can challenge yourself to stop drinking during any weekend. If you experience difficulty or discomfort in this 72-hour experiment, do yourself and those around you a favor and contact local NCADD affiliates, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Al-Anon to learn more about alcoholism.
If you have any questions about this topic, or have been hurt by a drunk driver, you can find out more by discussing it with the Miami, FL, drunk driving accident attorneys at Stabinski Law For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless DWI victims, and we are highly experienced in handling a wide range of car and truck accident cases throughout South Florida. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that if there is no recovery, there is no fee or cost to you. If you wish to learn more about how our firm can be of assistance, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 305-643-3100 or filling out a case evaluation form.