I like to try and bring some awareness to important things each month. I haven't done anything the past 2 months because nothing really caught my eye. I had several things to choose from this month - National Sickle Cell Month, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Children's Eye Health and Safety Month...and a few others... but this month I chose to go with...
National Alcohol/Drug Addiction Recovery Month - Sept 2011
There are a few reasons why I chose to bring awareness to this. *Personal moment coming up* -
My first reason for wanting to bring awareness to Alcohol/Drug Addiction Recovery is because my sisters dad was an alcoholic and did many drugs. I use to wish, for her sake, that he would get help and stay clean (he always relapsed). When on alcohol/drugs even the most nice people can become monsters... as did my sisters dad. When he was sober he would do anything in the world for you... he was a clean cut guy who would give his last dime to a man on the street. He loved my sister and I believe he loved my mom as well. We didn't know he had a hidden side...a darker side... finally he couldn't hide his addictions any longer and we saw the part of him that we never wanted to. Long story short, the night he died (out in the cold, with nothing but hospital scrub pants on, no shirt, no shoes, nothing) he was drunk.. he was on his way to kill my mother, according to eyewitnesses. Let me say again, he was on his way to kill my mother... while I'm sorry he lost his life and the chance to get clean and be a good man for his daughter, I think my sister is better off. Now, maybe if he the right people to help him and the right resources, he could have gotten clean... I know you can't get clean unless you want to, but I honestly believe he wanted to.... anyways../personal moment lol
My second reason for wanting to bring awareness to Alcohol/Drug Addiction Recovery is because of the military. Surprise surprise!! Who saw that coming? LOL - We all know that people have problems with alcohol/drugs for various reasons and even military members do... from my own eyes though, I have noticed it more among the military members (specifically army b/c that is what we're affiliated with) who have gone and come back from war. Some soldiers just can't deal with the things they have seen... they won't seek counseling because they think it will ruin their careeer, they will look weak, they are in denial...or whatever reason they come up with... so instead they turn to alcohol and drugs to cope. We all know that drugs doesn't just mean illegal drugs...
In an article I read while googling (I love google!!) I found out that drug abuse doubled among U.S. military personnel from 2002 to 2005 and almost tripled between 2005 and 2008. I wonder what the numbers are now?
I also read in that same article that "A study of Army soldiers screened 3 to 4 months after returning from deployment to Iraq showed that 27 percent met criteria for alcohol abuse and were at increased risk for related harmful behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving, using illicit drugs). And although soldiers frequently report alcohol concerns, few are referred to alcohol treatment. Research findings highlight the need to improve screening and access to care for alcohol-related problems among service members returning from combat deployments. Drug or alcohol use frequently accompanies mental health problems and was involved in 30 percent of the Army's suicide deaths from 2003 to 2009 and in more than 45 percent of non-fatal suicide attempts from 2005 to 2009." ((source))
This alone tells us that alcohol/drug addiction is a problem for some of our military members and they need help. It doesn't just affect them and their careers..it affects those who love them...especially those who live with them.
Getting help isn't easy, but it is the right thing to do. And I believe that if the ones we love have our support, getting help and recovering will be easier for them. Here are some links to point you in the right direction if you need them:
Recovery Month 2011 - great info!!
Army Substance Abuse Program - more great info!!
Army OneSource - great info and more links!!
The Recovery Month Color is purple so I've made this picture for *AWDIWH* for the month of Sept 2011.