Alcohol Awareness – Help for Today, Hope For Tomorrow

teenage drinking alcohol

Help your teen know the dangers surrounding drinking alcohol (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

April is Alcohol Awareness Month which is an awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD).  For almost 30 years, this month-long event has worked to increase awareness about alcoholism and other alcohol related issues.   As it has for the past few years, this year’s campaign focuses on the issue of underage drinking and the consequences is causes for individuals, families, and communities as a whole.

The theme this year is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow,” and the goal is to educate people across the country about how to prevent alcoholism before it starts and how to treat it once it happens.   Events will be occurring throughout the country to help achieve that goal.  To find more information on the national campaign or to find local groups that are participating visit the NCADD’s Alcohol Awareness Month page.

Here at Doorways, we consistently strive to provide teens and parents with the resources and services they need to overcome challenges like substance abuse.  We see firsthand the devastation that can be caused when alcohol and adolescents mix including risky behavior, traffic accidents, overdoses, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, difficulties in school, and other behavioral problems.  To help mitigate the damage alcohol can do, we must all do our part to raise awareness of this wide-spread problem.

Information and awareness go hand in hand and, especially when it comes to topics like these, numbers can often speak louder than words.  To illustrate the problem of underage drinking, here are some of the alcohol+adolescent numbers that every parent and every teen need to know.

  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s young people.
  • By age 10, 10% of our children have started drinking.
  • By age 13, that number more than triples, approaching 33%.
  • Alcohol is more likely to kill an adolescent than all illegal drugs combined.
  • One quarter of American children have firsthand experience with alcohol-use disorders within their own family.
  • Children of alcoholics may be as much as 10 times as likely to become alcoholics as their peers.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Teenagers who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics than those that wait until they reach the legal drinking age of 21.
  • One quarter of American children have firsthand experience with alcohol-use disorders within their own family.
  • Binge drinking is common amongst teenagers who drink and 25% of students drank more than 5 drinks in a row within the past 30 days.
  • Close to 5 college student per day die from an alcohol related cause which is more than 1,700 each year.
  • College students also suffer around 600,000 alcohol-related injuries each year.
  • There are 100,000 alcohol-related sexual assaults or date rapes committed against college students each year.

It is everyone’s responsibility to work together to create a safe, secure alcoholism-free future for our adolescents.

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