April is Alcohol Awareness Month

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The month of April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcoholism by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public each April with information about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery. NCADD describes alcoholism as a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated.

This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery,” The overall goal to drawattention to the many opportunities individuals, families, and communities have to help prevent teen alcohol use. In addition, the need to provide meaningful education on the dangers of underage drinking and drug use has never been greater. NCADD provides a few facts that help to highlight that need:

  • Alcohol and drugs are the leading causes of crime among youth.
  • Alcohol and drugs are the leading factors in teenage suicide.
  • More than 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and other

drugs.

Underage drinking is a critical public issue that faces communities nationwide. The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students in the last 30 days, 33% drank some amount of alcohol, 18% binge drank, 8% drove after drinking alcohol, and 20% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

Furthermore, young people, like adults, drink alcohol for many different reasons. NCADD suggests that young people often drink to check out from family problems or issues with school and grades. Loneliness, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety disorder and other mental health issues can also contribute. In addition, young people may drink to deal with the pressures of everyday social situations, to change their image or to fit in when moving to a new school or town, or to gain confidence or lose inhibitions.

For more information about underage drinking in Alabama contact Behavioral Health Prevention Director Antonio Edwards at 334-229-1629 or aedwards@cosancadd.org

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