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The Fort Benning Army Substance Abuse Program will kickoff Alcohol Awareness Month with two informational workshops Thursday at the Child Youth Services Center, Building 1056.
The first session will run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and feature author Jeannine Auth, who will discuss how alcoholism affects the entire family. The second session will feature former Kansas City Chiefs player Dan Davis.
“Alcoholism is a misunderstood and misdiagnosed problem not only in the Army but in the civilian community,” said Timothy Knox, ASAP employee assistance program coordinator. “The intent is to bring attention to the dangers of alcohol in the Army community and to provide prevention education and training to combat those dangers.”
Auth’s book, Emmy’s Question, is based on true stories taken from the diary of her granddaughter, Emily. Auth said the book details how a parent’s problem with alcohol can affect the child and ultimately the whole family.
“(Emmy’s Question) stresses what the child needs to understand, and that is the disease is the problem,” Auth said. “It’s been said the ones who suffer most from alcoholism don’t even drink. Children are the silent victims.”
Auth said she encouraged her granddaughter to begin documenting her feelings in a diary before she could even write. Emily did so through pictures and later words until the age of 10 when she asked her grandmother to share her story to help others. “She said she had learned so much and she wanted to let other kids know they weren’t alone,” Auth said.
With the help of teachers and counselors, Emily made it through the hard times caused by her mother’s addiction and subsequent divorce of her parents, the grandmother said.
“Emily is really a success story,” Auth said.
The 14-year-old is also scheduled to make comments during the workshop.
Knox said those who attend should leave with a better understanding of how to recognize and deal with the problem.
“With proper dedication and proper treatment, (alcoholism) can be managed,” he said. “It may never be cured … but you can have a successful lifestyle.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to pre-register contact Knox at 706-545-5137 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday.