Alcohol Awareness Month is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the dangers of alcohol and the effects and causes of alcohol use disorder.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) started the Alcohol Awareness Month program in 1987. Programming often targets teenagers and college-aged youth. It aims to educate them on the dangers of heavy drinking and other harmful behaviors that can be common during these years.
All Americans are encouraged to participate in Alcohol Awareness Month by reflecting on their relationship with alcohol.
What month is Alcohol Awareness Month?
Alcohol Awareness Month is held every April.
During the month, the NCADD and other national public health organizations encourage community organizations and healthcare professionals to hold events and offer alcohol-related education materials.
Alcohol Awareness Month is a public health outreach campaign. Its primary goal is increasing public awareness and education about alcohol and alcohol use disorder (AUD), formerly known as “alcoholism”.
Awareness areas include alcohol use risks, AUD treatments, AUD prevention, and the effects of alcohol misuse on individuals, families, and communities.
Events may aim to raise awareness or funds for rehabilitation centers in their area or to fight the stigma that often comes with addiction.
What is the ribbon color for Alcohol Awareness Month?
Alcohol Awareness Month uses a red ribbon to help spread its message.
Your local community might have events planned for Alcohol Awareness Month. Even if there aren’t local events, there are several ways you can participate in raising awareness.
Here’s how you can support Alcohol Awareness Month:
- Wear a red ribbon: Make a red ribbon pin or find one online to show your support for Alcohol Awareness Month.
- Participate in an alcohol-free 72 hours: The NCADD encourages everyone to make the first weekend in April an alcohol-free one. The organization suggests doing this with friends and family so you can support each other. If the weekend is difficult for you or a loved one, it can be a sign to seek professional treatment.
- Host dry parties: You can host alcohol-free, or “dry,” parties in April to support Alcohol Awareness Month. Check out our list of nonalcoholic drinks and mixers.
- Talk with kids and teens about alcohol: Talking about alcohol can help prevent underage drinking, and Alcohol Awareness Month is a great time to get the conversation started. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has resources on its website to help you have conversations with kids as young as age 9, high schoolers, and teens heading off to college about the risks of alcohol.
- Talk with family and friends about alcohol: Starting a conversation about alcohol misuse with a loved one can be tough, but it can also be lifesaving. If you’ve been concerned about a loved one’s drinking, Alcohol Awareness Month is a good time to check in with them. You can find resources for talking with friends about their drinking in this article.
- Look at your own relationship with alcohol: Make time for some self-reflection, too. Alcohol Awareness Month can be a great time to monitor and track how much alcohol you drink, which can allow you to spot potential overuse.
Recognizing that you want to change your relationship with alcohol is a big step, and it can be overwhelming to think about the next steps, such as treatment. Fortunately, there are organizations you can turn to for support.
Whether you are looking for counseling, peer support groups, accountability, or recovery tools you can pull up on your phone, you have options.
When you’re ready, you can check out:
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: SAMSHA runs a toll-free hotline you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support. Support is available in English and Spanish. You can call 800-662-4357 or visit SAMHSA online to reach the helpline and get information about resources in your local area.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): If you’re looking for professional counseling to help you change your relationship with alcohol, the NIAAA can help you find therapists, recovery programs, and medical care near you. You can enter your location into the free
treatment navigatorto get started.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): AA is known for its 12-step recovery approach. You can see whether this program works for you by checking out one of its chapters. AA has locations all over the country and online.
- Women for Sobriety: Find in-person meetings, online group support, and a wealth of additional resources with Women for Sobriety. This inclusive program welcomes all women seeking support on their recovery journey.
- Gays and Lesbians in Alcoholics Anonymous (GaL-AA): Members of the LGBT community can find supportive and welcoming AA meetings with GaL-AA.
Click here to learn more about going to rehab for alcohol use or the difference between inpatient and outpatient programs.
Alcohol Awareness Month is held every April to help spread awareness about the dangers of alcohol and the causes of and treatments for alcohol use disorder. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month, which has been observed since 1987.
The NCADD encourages people to participate by wearing red ribbons, talking with kids and teens about alcohol, hosting dry parties, having conversations with friends and family about drinking, and having an alcohol-free weekend.
If you find that an alcohol-free weekend is difficult to make it through, it can be a sign that it’s time to seek treatment.