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Alcohol Free Weekend April 5 to April 7

April 3, 2019
Emmetsburg News

Dear Editor,

The Facing Addiction and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has since 1987 designated April as Alcohol Awareness Month.

To bring attention to alcohol use in this country, the two organizations are inviting all Americans to participate in the "Alcohol Free Weekend" April 5 7. The weekend gives parents and other adults an opportunity to talk to kids and young adults about alcohol use and let young people know it does not have to be available to have a good time.

The 72 hour abstinence from alcohol also is a good indication of whether a person has a dependence on alcohol.

If the person finds it difficult to go the weekend without alcohol, they might have an alcohol dependency.

If the person suspects there is a problem, an alcohol screen at a drug and alcohol outpatient treatment facility would be the next step.

According to "USA Today" August 24, 2018: "Alcohol is a leading cause of death, disease worldwide." In the U. S. one in every 12 adults or 17.6 million people suffers from alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence. And what is sad is of that number, only about 3% ever seek treatment.

In a ranking of states according to the "drunkest state" "USA Today, March 8, 2018, Iowa ranked 7th highest drunkest state with 21% adults drinking excessively.

Alcoholism does not discriminate, "it affects people of all ages, ethnicities, genders, geographic regions, and socioeconomic levels." But alcoholism is preventable and treatable. People can and do recover.

As Alcohol Awareness Month is upon us it is important to remove the stigma and social shame often associated with the disease.

Seeking help is not a sign of failure, it is a sign a person wants to get better.

Life without alcohol is possible and a person can live a happy and healthy life.

(signed) Linda Hallengren

Compass Point

Spencer, IA



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