For most people, drinking is a fun, harmless experience. For others, it can be devastating. Alcoholism takes a tremendous toll on the alcoholic’s physical and mental health. It can also have a devastating effect on those around them
When it comes to dealing with alcoholism, education is extremely important. While education itself cannot treat the problem of alcoholism in our society, it is an essential component. It can help reduce harm, and also give friends and family members of alcoholics some of the tools they need in order to understand how to confront an alcoholic and get them the help they need.
Educational programs designed to reduce risk of alcoholism need to be targeted at at-risk populations. At the same time, efforts also need to be made to spread awareness through the general population. While most alcoholics are aware of the benefits of quitting alcohol, most will continue to deny that their behavior has a negative effect on their life and the lives of those around them. When it comes to drinking, our society also has to closely examine the fact that many negative incidences arise out of binge drinking – an ever popular pass-time amongst youth.
Educational messages are currently being delivered as mass media campaigns. While mass media has been successful in reshaping society’s view of drinking and driving, it has had much less success in terms of dealing with alcoholism. Perhaps a school based educational program about alcohol is one step forward towards change. Surprisingly, many school boards still don’t have a focused alcohol awareness program.
Local municipalities and community organizations must also target their efforts to wards at-risk populations, such as troubled youth, those arrested for drunk driving, as well as families where family members report the dangerous drinking behaviors of a loved one.
While a single method alone may have little impact, a combination of several alcoholism awareness initiatives will have a positive effect on the problem over time.