COMMENTARY: Alcohol Awareness Month provides opportunities to talk about alcohol-related issues

By Byron Goode | Fort Knox Army Substance Abuse ProgramApril 18, 2023

Alcohol Awareness Month provides opportunities to talk about alcohol-related issues
During April 2023 for National Alcohol Awareness Month, officials from the Army Substance Abuse Program will be emphasizing a change in thinking about alcohol use. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Few would argue against enjoying a glass of wine, beer or bourbon with a nice meal. But what about two or three, or four glasses? How much alcohol is too much?

As we prepare for National Alcohol Awareness Month throughout April, these questions and more should not be far from our lips.

While making the community aware of this subject, I am not intending to provide answers to alcohol-related issues or deter its use. My intent here is to start a culture shift by generating conversations on how to drink responsibly, how to socialize without the use of alcohol, and how to make low-risk decisions.

In 1987, the affiliates of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) mobilized the annual Alcohol Awareness Month Campaign across America to provide awareness, education and resources on the cause of alcohol use disorder, prevention strategies, and treatment options for one of America’s largest health problems. Fort Knox’s Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) joins these efforts to raise the awareness of Soldiers, Family Members, Civilians, Federal Employees and Contractors to alcohol-related issues.

The use of alcohol is often associated with celebrations, relaxation, and a complimentary beverage to many of our favorite dishes. The danger lies in not monitoring how much we consume and how often, which can lead to a false sense that we are consuming it at a safe level.

There is prevalent thinking dating back hundreds of years that alcohol needs to be present to have a good time. It is socially acceptable in many cultures and very common to see at many social gatherings, private parties and sporting events.

However, the excessive use of alcohol impacts the lives of many families.

According to an article published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, alcohol claims over 30% of all driving fatalities. The article highlights that it also takes a toll on an estimated 414,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17, which leads to alcohol use disorder. The misuse and abuse of alcohol has claimed careers, relationships, financial troubles, health issues and over 90,000 lives annually.

As well, the CDC reported in 2020 that our economy spent $249 billion annually on alcohol issues related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.

While many of us may not relate to these claims, recognize alcohol use disorder, or identify the many problems associated with this lifestyle-related health issue, now is the time to start conversations with our families, children, friends, co-workers and neighbors about low-risk alcohol use. Now is the time to change our culture in how we think, and the choices we make when it comes to social drinking.

During the month, plan to incorporate low-risk decisions when consuming alcohol. Choose non-alcoholic beverages if you have plans to drive or operate heavy machinery. Consume no more than two standard drinks daily with one hour between. This will prevent impairment issues and long-term health problems.

By practicing responsible drinking or prevention, we all will protect the things we value. Identifying things that are important in our daily lives will assist in making those low-risk decisions. Simply put, if we fail to plan, then we should plan to fail.

Alcohol will not resolve the stressors we face in life, but neither will it lead to negative outcomes when consumed moderately with a nice meal. During this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month, decide to make a change.


Editor’s Note: Get additional information on alcohol use from,, or the Fort Knox information page