April is Alcohol Awareness Month: Resources for Social Workers

Woman sharing her experiences during a group therapy sessionApril is Alcohol Awareness Month. It highlights the dangers of unsafe alcohol consumption and promote awareness in reducing alcohol use disorder. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5 million people ages 12 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2019.  During the COVID-19 pandemic alcohol use along with mental health challenges have been exacerbated by pre-existing and new stressors. According to a journal article written in Toxicology Reports a recent study showed that Americans drank an increase of 14% more alcohol in 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 2019.

Social workers provide counseling services and mental health treatment to individuals who may also have an alcohol use disorder and help them address barriers to treatment. They also provide education around potential harm due to misuse and use treatment modalities that are flexible and work for both harm reduction and abstinence.

When alcohol is consumed drinking in moderation is considered 2 drinks or less per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. Having conversations around consumption and alcohol use during early screenings can be used as an opportunity to discuss frequency of use, volume of use and possible need for treatment. Stigmas around treatment and seeking help are prevalent. Education and screening may be beneficial in informing individuals of treatment options and resources available to them.

Facts regarding alcohol use include the following:

In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has compiled the following list of resources.

 

Prepared By
Makeba Royall, LMSW
Senior Practice Associate, Behavioral Health