April Is Alcohol Awareness Month. This Year's Theme Is "Changing Attitudes - It's Not A Rite Of Passage"

3 April 2018
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3 April 2018, Comments 0

Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) to help reduce the stigma that is often associated with alcoholism and to increase public awareness and understanding of the disease.  Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that affects individuals, families and children and can be fatal if not treated.  But people can and do recover!

The 2018 theme is designed to draw attention to the many opportunities all of us have to educate young people on the dangers of alcohol use.  We often think of underage drinking as a “rite of passage” and hope that kids will “get through it”.  We can change our attitudes and take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and help young people do the same.

Here are some facts about alcohol from NCADD. Go to their website at www.ncadd.org for more information:

  • Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States.
  • Over 1.6 million young people report driving under the influence in the past year.
  • Drinking is associated with the leading causes of death among young people.
  • Alcohol and drugs are the leading causes of crime among youth.
  • Alcohol and drugs are the leading factors in teenage suicide.
  • Kids who drink are more likely to have serious school-related problems.

A supportive family environment is associated with lower rates of alcohol use for adolescents.  Kids who have conversations with their parents/caregivers about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have such conversations.

Here are some helpful tips for parents and caregivers: Teach children that abstinence from alcohol is an acceptable lifelong decision; connect with your child’s friends and their parents; promote healthy activities; establish clear family rules about alcohol and drugs; be a role model and set a positive example; be aware of your child’s activities; keep track of alcohol and prescription drugs. Get help if you suspect your child is having a problem with alcohol and/or drugs – don’t wait!

If you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol or substance abuse issues, local help is available. Call COPELINE at 440-285-5665 or 1-888-285-5665. This is a 24-hour hotline available to Geauga County residents and funded by the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services. You can also contact the following agencies: Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers at 440-255-0678 or Ravenwood Health at 440-285-3568.

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