Alcohol Awareness Month: An introduction
Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month was first recognized in 1987 as a focused effort to diminish the associated stigma with alcoholism. The nation’s top public health problem is acknowledged through a broad range of media strategies, awareness campaigns, programs and events in local communities, targeted at reaching the public with information about alcoholism and recovery.
- Related story: “Good support systems make all the difference in recovery”
“Underage drinking is a complex issue,” said Andrew Pucher, president and chief executive officer of NCADD, “one that can only be solved through a sustained and cooperative effort.”
“As a nation, we need to wake up to the reality that for some, alcoholism and addiction develop at a young age and that intervention, treatment, and recovery support are essential for them and their families,” said Pucher. “We can’t afford to wait any longer.”
Talk Early, Talk Often
This year’s theme, “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use,” focuses the attention of local, state and national events toward educating people about treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly among our youth, and the crucial role that parents can execute.
“Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people, and parents can make a difference,” commented Pucher.
Schools, colleges and churches alongside numerous other organizations are slated to support a range of activities aimed at creating awareness and promoting individuals and families to acquire assistance for problems related to alcohol.
Alcohol use among the youth
Alcohol remains the most used and abused substance among the youth.
- Excessive drinking claims more than 4,300 lives among underage youth yearly.
- Despite the fact that drinking by individuals under 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years consume 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.
- Almost 90 percent of alcohol consumed under legal age takes the form of binge drinking. National survey results indicate that 28.6 percent of 12th graders and 40.1 percent of college students indulge in binge drinking.
- More than 690,000 students are assaulted and 97,000 are victims to sexual assault emerging from an alcohol-related situation.
- In 2010, approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 were reported for alcohol-related injuries and conditions.
“The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it,” explained Pucher. “That’s why it’s so important to help your child make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.”
How can you make a difference this Alcohol Awareness Month?
We can all contribute toward and utilize this month to raise awareness about alcohol abuse and take action to prevent it, both at home and in the community.
Here are a few ideas:
- Add information about alcohol abuse to your newsletter or blog.
- Tweet or spread word on other social media platforms about Alcohol Awareness Month.
- Initiate a community event where families can educate themselves about local addiction resources.
- Join local organizations or NCADD and its affiliates in raising awareness for Alcohol Awareness Month.
- Partner with a local school or youth organization for an event about alcohol abuse prevention including parents and young adolescents.
- Host an alcohol-free community block party. Enlist local restaurants and a radio station to provide free food and music.
Follow this series
Check back regularly for updates all through April on our Alcohol Awareness Month coverage at SovHealth.com and Facebookhttps://twitter.com/sovmentalhealth. You can also follow us on Twitter and track the discussion by searching for # #AlcoholAwareness, #AlcoholScreeningDay and #SovTalk.
Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health treatment provider, providing evidence-based treatment for substance abuse disorders and mental illnesses. We aim to see our patients not just succeed in treatment but also thrive in their daily life. If you or a loved one is currently struggling to regain control from alcohol abuse, help is a call away.
About the author
Sana Ahmed is a staff writer for Sovereign Health Group. A journalist and social media savvy content developer with extensive research, print and on-air interview skills, Sana has previously worked as an editor for a business magazine and been an on-air news broadcaster. She writes to share the amazing developments from the mental health world and unsuccessfully attempts to diagnose her friends and family. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author at email@example.com.
Previous blog in the series: http://www.sovhealth.com/alcohol/alcohol-awareness-month-recognizing-alcohol-free-weekend/