Can you go an entire weekend without drinking any alcohol? It’s a 72-hour-long experiment that the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) would like you to try during the month of April, which is designated as Alcohol Awareness Month. If you or a family member experiences difficulty or discomfort while going through an alcohol-free weekend, NCADD urges you to contact local NCADD affiliates, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Al-Anon to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms.

Founded in 1987, Alcohol Awareness Month is intended to help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcoholism by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public with information about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. However people can and do recover. In fact, NCADD estimates that as many as 20 million individuals and family members are living lives in recovery.

According to the group, dedicating a specific month to alcohol awareness allows for a focus on information dissemination and helps to dismantle the barriers to treatment and recovery, thus making it easier for people who suffer from alcoholism to seek help.

This year’s theme: “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’” is aimed especially at young people. Local, state, and national events will aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, and illuminate the important role that parents can play in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives. Events will be sponsored by local NCADD Affiliates as well as schools, colleges, churches, and other community organizations.

Click here to see the 2018 guide to events.