Are You Aware? – April 2021

Are You Aware?

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, this awareness program began in 1987 to educate college-aged students on the causes and effects of excessive drinking. Over the last 34 years, Alcohol Awareness month has branched out into helping those of all ages learn the dangers of alcohol, encouraging those who are battling alcoholism to seek treatment, and attempting to erase the stigma that surrounds substance abuse disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide some valuable yet alarming facts about alcohol use:

Excessive alcohol use can be defined in one of two ways:
binge drinking – five or more drinks on an occasion for men, or four or more drinks on an occasion for women
heavy drinking – five or more drinks per week for men or eight or more drinks per week for women

Early initiation of drinking is related to the development of an alcohol use disorder later in life. Studies show a correlation between underage drinking behaviors and the drinking behaviors of adult relatives, adults in the same household, and adults in the same community. Binge drinking among adults in a community is linked to a 12% increase in the chance of excessive underage drinking.
Severe alcohol use disorder, also known as alcohol dependence or alcoholism, is a recurring disease. Some of the signs and symptoms may include:
the physical and mental inability to limit drinking
continuing to drink regardless of personal or professional problems
increasing the amount of drinking to produce the same desirable effect
having intrusive or obsessive thoughts about drinking
Alcohol is the most frequently used substance among young people in the United States. Data from several national surveys, including the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, (which “monitors six categories of health-related behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults”) detail the use of alcohol among high school students and found that over a period of 30 days:
29% drank alcohol
14% binge drank
5% of drivers drove after drinking alcohol
17% rode with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol

It is never too early to begin educating your children about the risks of substance abuse disorder as well as the peer pressure that will naturally come along. While it is natural to want to shield a young child from such topics, it is important to discuss these matters over the course of many years, beginning when the child is in early elementary school. As a child matures, so does his/her brain. The brain is not fully developed until the child reaches his/her twenties, which explains why teens often seek out new experiences such as drinking alcohol and why teens do not fully understand the dangers associated with it. The earlier a child experiments with alcohol, the more likely it is for that child to develop a drinking problem later down the road. For more information and extensive ways to talk to your children about alcohol, please visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, or contact your local health department, pediatrician’s office, hospital, or other medical professionals.

We suggest reading these books together as a way to open up the lines of communication about alcohol:
Mommy’s Disease by Carolyn Hannan Bell, M.S., L.P.C., and Daddy’s Disease by Carolyn Hannan Bell, M.S., L.P.C. These family-friendly books can be found here:

In an effort to support children who have been directly affected by alcohol and/or drug addiction, Rage Against Addiction created Rage Club. This program aims to help children learn to positively express their thoughts and emotions through counselor-led activities such as art and equine therapy, nature walks, and more. We know addiction is scary, confusing, and difficult for children, but we believe that coming together, forming connections with others, and having conversations about addiction is the first step in the healing process.

Consuming alcohol on occasion does not automatically mean a person will become addicted to it. There are many considerations that may influence addiction, including family history, personality, and external factors. This is why Rage Against Addiction truly believes in having open and honest discussions related to alcohol use; with the right information and resources, we can all come together to provide the knowledge needed to help individuals and families prevent alcohol-related issues, as well as provide support for those that are already struggling with alcohol addiction.

It’s never too late to seek help. For support in your area, please visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to search for treatment centers by zip code and Psychology Today’s database to find a therapist near you. It is also a good idea to contact your health insurance company as well as other medical professionals in your area to determine the best course of care. We do recover!

Helping children understand alcoholism is a tough subject to tackle.  We encourage families to educate their kids!  Knowledge and awareness are key components to understanding this disease. Keeping it age-appropriate and telling the truth helps release the shame kids may feel and helps them put things into perspective.  They need reinforcement to know that they didn’t cause it, they can’t cure it, and they can’t control it.As the popular quote goes: “it is much easier to build a strong child than to fix a broken adult.” 

 Addiction is a family disease, and no family is immune.

Our Virtual Memory Walk / Run 2021 is still going strong. You can still sign up as a participant and collect donations through the month of April. If you are already registered, don’t forget to log your miles on the event page. You can earn digital milestone texts and emails, share photos of your participation and those who have been impacted by addiction, and possibly be a winner of one of our awards: the individual who raises the most money will win a 3-day, weekend stay, in Ocean City, MD from June 4 to June 6, 2021, and the participant who reaches 100 miles FIRST will earn a $100 Amazon gift card. We hope you’re still up to helping us fight addiction. Every mile counts. Every dollar helps. Every life matters.

Community Resources

*Please be aware that some policies, locations, programs, and contact information have changed due to COVID-19 protocols.*

Addiction Connections Resource: A non-profit organization that assists with providing resources and support for addiction treatment and that educates the community about substance abuse disorder. Located in Fallston, MD. Please visit here or call 443-417-7810 for more information. 

Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here or call 800-799-4673 for information about online and in-person meeting services.

Celebrate Recovery: A local support group for those with addictive behaviors. Located in Bel Air, MD and Joppa, MD. 

  • Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air, MD: Contact or visit here for more information about meetings.
  • Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, MD: Please register here to join. *Please check out the updated information regarding meeting details.*

​​GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction. 

  • 7:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. *Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.*
  • Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015
  • Contact for more information.
  • The private national Facebook group is available. Please visit here to ask to join.

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here or call 410-874-0711 for information about online and in-person meeting services.

Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction.  

  • 7:00pm every Saturday. *Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.*
  • Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015
  • Contact for more information.

We serve locally but think globally. For counseling, or for addiction, substance abuse disorder, or mental illness treatment, please contact your area’s health department, county government, hospital, or law enforcement agency.

Rage Against Addiction Programs

Daughter’s House: Designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to recovery; includes two sober living houses (Daughter’s House and Sister House) located in the suburbs of Harford County, MD.  Click here to visit the Facebook page.

HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One): An online grief support group specifically for those that lost loved ones to substance abuse. Click here to ask to join the private Facebook page. *Please read and answer the membership questions prior to joining.

RAA ABC (After Baby Care): Provides post-partum care packages to new mothers in early recovery.

Rage Club: Designed specifically for children affected by addiction to help them process their feelings and learn about the disease by offering counselor-led activities, such as equine and art therapy, nature walks, and more. The group meets several times a year. Click here for more information.

Rage Against Addiction Team Members

Wendy Beck Messner Founder and Executive Director

Amanda Buddenbohn RAA’S ABC (After Baby Care) Coordinator

Tara Kuzma Chairman of the Board of Directors

Rachel Bongiorno Recovery Coach and Daughter’s House Program Director

Mia Ellis Newsletter Writer and Administrator

Sarah Hoover Rage Club Event Coordinator and Volunteer

Michael Nesline Rage Club Mascot