In the United States, alcohol stands as the most commonly used addictive substance and one in every 12 adults suffer from alcohol abuse or alcohol-related issues. In order to raise public awareness, each April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month. Throughout the month, local communities are encouraged to promote awareness and understanding of alcohol-related issues, as well as reduce the stigma that comes with alcoholism.
This year’s theme, “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow,” highlights the important public health issue of underage drinking and the devastating consequences that effect the individual, family and community. All throughout the month of April, local, state and national events will be held in order to promote this theme and educate the community about treatment and prevention. Additionally, schools, colleges, churches and other community organizations will host awareness activities that help families and individuals access assistance for alcohol-related problems.
With over 6,500 people under the age of 21 dying from alcohol-related accidents a year, it is clear that alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous. Not only are they putting themselves at risk but they are also endangering those around them.
Other shocking statistics include:
- Alcohol is the drug of choice for youth in U.S. and is more likely to kill young people than all other illegal drugs combined.
- Each day in the U.S., 7,000 kids under the age of 16 will take their first drink.
- Those who begin drinking before age 15 as opposed to 21, are four times more likely to develop alcoholism.
- 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
By acknowledging the fact that alcoholism and addiction can develop at a young age, we are taking the first step needed in order to reduce the amount of underage drinking. This complex issue will require a cooperative effort; this means, parents, schools, community organizations, business leaders, government agencies, manufacturers/retailers, the entertainment industry and young people must come together to promote the importance of intervention, treatment and recovery support that are essential for them and their families.
Are you or a loved one suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction? Our staff of recovery professionals is here to help you find and maintain a life of permanent sobriety.