Alcohol Awareness Month 2015 focuses on underage drinking

newspaperApril is National Alcohol Awareness Month which is a time dedicated to raising public knowledge and understanding, reducing negative connotations, and encouraging surrounding communities to focus on alcoholism as well as issues related to alcohol abuse and addiction.

Every April the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) highlights the important public health issues of underage drinking. This year’s theme, “For the Health of it: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction,” is designed to help draw attention to the impact that alcohol abuse and addiction have on young people and their families. Throughout this month, there will be many events at the local, state, and national level that are designed to inform people about how to treat and, more importantly, prevent alcohol-related issues. Furthermore, local NCADD affiliates as well as various schools, colleges, and other community organizations will sponsor a number of activities in the hopes of creating awareness and encouraging individuals to receive help for alcohol-related problems.

Underage drinking is extremely dangerous and greatly affects the overall health and well-being of young people. According to the NCADD, approximately 10 percent of nine to 10 year olds have started drinking and about one third of youth begins drinking before the age of 13. In 2006, approximately 10.8 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Underage drinking is a leading cause of death from injuries, which are the main cause of death for people under the age of 21. Each year about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related injuries involving drinking.

Underage drinking places a young person at a significantly greater risk for the development of heavy drinking in later life. Continued alcohol abuse can cause a number of significant consequences and a whole host of medical problems. Some of the consequences associated with underage drinking can range from something as seemingly benign, such as lack of academic achievement, to more serious issues such as an increase in traffic fatalities, suicide, and death from overdose. Reducing the occurrence of underage drinking in America’s youth is crucial to ensuring a strong, healthy future and requires the full cooperation of parents, schools, community organizations, government agencies, and the alcohol manufacturers themselves. Alcohol abuse and addiction start at a young age which is why we need to start educating our nation’s youth today.

In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, Mount Regis Center will be distributing “Quick Facts about Alcohol” to parents on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the 17th Annual Blue Ridge Kite Festival in Greenhill Park in Salem, Virginia (http://s-rcchamber.org/events/blue-ridge-kite-festival).  The event is sponsored by the Salem-Roanoke County of Chamber of Commerce and the Richmond Air Force Kite Club.  You can find out more information about this event by visiting our community events webpage http://www.mtregis.com/about/events

Mount Regis Center is a community-focused center, providing inpatient, residential and detox treatment programs, located in Salem, Virginia. As a leader in addiction treatment, our goal is to provide the highest quality of care for men and women, who are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. Each patient receives individualized care in a safe, comfortable environment, while working towards recovery. For more information, please visit our website www.mtregis.com.


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