Alcohol Awareness Month was founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) for the past 27 years. The theme this year is: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”
Working Together Coalition is helping to support and promote this worthwhile event.
No substance of abuse is more widely used and abused by America’s youth than alcohol, making alcoholism and alcohol-related problems the No. 1 public health problem in the United States.
The Search Institute Profiles of Student Life surveys taken in our local school districts of Pine River-Backus, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Northland Community in 2012 reported 28 percent of the students in grades 6-12 said they have used alcohol once or more in the past 30 days, and 20 percent of them said they got drunk once or more in the past two weeks.
Addressing this issue requires a sustained and cooperative effort among parents, schools, community leaders and our youth. The widespread prevalence of underage drinking and the negative consequences it creates remain a stubborn and destructive problem despite decades of efforts to combat it. Yet, there are four areas that have proven to be effective in prevention of this problem:
• Curtailing the availability of alcohol to underage populations.
• Consistent enforcement of existing laws and regulations regarding alcohol purchase.
• Changing cultural misconceptions and behaviors about alcohol use through education.
• Expanded access to treatment and recovery support for adolescents and their families.
But, time is running out. Studies reveal that alcohol consumption by adolescents results in brain damage — possibly permanent — and impairs intellectual development.
So, let’s get started providing “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.” We can’t afford to wait any longer.
To get more information on how to help increase the things that youth in our community need to make healthy and safe decisions, contact Kelly Felton, Working Together Coalition coordinator and certified prevention professional, at 218-339-8129 or visit the WTC website at workingtogethercoalition.org.