Seriously, this is no joke.

So, this probably comes as no surprise that I’m a bit of jokester. I love pulling an all-in-good-fun prank on an unsuspecting friend or colleague. Just a few weeks ago, for example, our team pulled a great prank on Chris Epstein, our Clinical Director. What made it so funny for all of us involved, was that he had NO idea he was being played. (When you get a chance, ask him about it!)

So naturally, I love April Fool’s Day. (Although making a national holiday out of pranking kind of ruins the element of surprise for guys like me.) Really, what’s the fun if someone knows it’s coming?

And while April Fool’s Day gets a lot of love in April, there’s something far less funny that’s also being recognized this month. April is National Alcohol Awareness Month.

Yes, yes. I know EVERYTHING gets its own month or a day to celebrate.  Ferrets (April 2), chicken cordon bleu (April 4) and barber shop quartets (April 11) are also celebrated this month. It’s like we’re all in search of our happy rainbows. Oh wait, April 3 is National Find a Rainbow Day. So there you are.

But, let’s take this opportunity to recognize that alcoholism really is no joke; and this is a great opportunity to talk about it. Because, despite its prevalence in our society, alcoholism is still largely misunderstood.

In fact, one of the most common questions I hear is, am I an alcoholic? Well, if you have to ask, yah there’s probably a reason you’re asking. But, man, that’s a loaded question too. Because there really is a difference between my drinking is ruining my life, my drinking causes me problems in my life, and I don’t like the way I think about drinking.

So we’re going to take this month to walk through some key points about alcoholism with you.

And to get us started, here are a few general “self awareness” or “reflective” questions I think would be a good lift off point:

– What’s your drinking pattern? On any day in the past year have you had more than 4 standard drinks (men) / 3 standard drinks (women)
– On average, how many days a week do you drink alcohol?
– On a typical drinking day, how many drinks do you have?
– Does alcohol cause you to neglect your personal or professional responsibilities?
– Do you have alcohol related legal problems? (domestic violence, DUI, public intoxication)-
– Do you fight with your friends or relatives when you drink?

Again, these are just a few questions to ask to get you started on the journey of thinking about the role that alcohol plays in your life. If you do have concerns, please reach out to a professional who can help you walk through your struggles. Or, if you know somebody who you feel is struggling with alcohol, you may also be their lifeline.

If you’re not sure where to start, please call us and we’ll begin the journey together. And stayed tuned to this month’s emails. We’ll pack them full of helpful insights.