For the past 30+ years the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has worked to increase the conversation about Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) with their “April is Alcohol Awareness Month” program. In conjunction with a nationwide network of affiliates, NCADD inspires local communities to get involved by talking about and lifting the stigma from alcohol misuse and recovery.

A vital part of this initiative is bringing the conversation into schools. Teachers and parents are encouraged to work together to recognize the important role they play in talking with students about the impact that alcohol misuse can have on their lives. Equipping caregivers with the skills and confidence to speak with them about the dangers of AUD boosts prevention and helps reduce the shame and isolation kids feel when AUD affects them. By bringing this information out into the open, the goal is that students will feel safe enough to ask for help.

Awareness = Education + Community. You can spread the word by participating in programs that increase substance misuse education in your local schools. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) underage drinking prevention campaign “Talk. They Hear You.” is a program designed to inform and unite educators and families to speak with their students about the dangers of AUD. SAMHSA provides a wealth of information on how to get the conversation started, including a mobile app with tips on how to turn everyday situations into an opportunity to talk with them about the dangers of alcohol misuse. The app also provides tools on how to implement the program and engage the community in providing support for students struggling with AUD and mental health issues.

If you have colleges or universities in your area, ask if they have a Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) you can get involved with. And if they don’t, ask if you can start one. CRPs help to reduce the stigma that often surrounds students who are in recovery or choose not to participate in the party atmosphere that exists on college campuses. They provide a safe space and a supportive community that can include peer mentors and specially trained on-call advisors for recovery and mental health support. Each school develops their CRP independently, typically including meetings that honor all recovery paths, sober social activities and sober roommate and living space information. Some schools have a designated recovery community center for sober students to go to hang out, study and socialize. For more information about CRPs and to see how you can start or support a program in your area, check out The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) or The SAFE Project’s Safe Campus Initiative.

Education, community and awareness – it starts with us. We can work together to change the thinking around AUD by creating conversations that help dispel the common myths and lift the shame that accompanies them. An informed community is an empathetic community and the more we engage with compassion with those around us the more we can help those impacted by the effects of AUD. You can change a life by getting involved.


If AUD is having an impact on your life and mental health, we are here to help. The Recovery Coach NY is a safe place where you can speak directly with Cindy about your concerns and solution-oriented actions for yourself, your loved one or coworker to find a way to a life of joy and purpose.

We bring years of experience, a vast array of resources, honor all paths of recovery and provide Individual Coaching, Family Coaching, Companions and Safe Transport, Intervention and emergency services. Reach out to Cindy directly via phone or text at 631-921-4085 or via email. For more information and additional services, you can go to our website.

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