April is Alcohol Awareness Month

To recognize the serious problem of alcohol abuse, April is designated “Alcohol Awareness Month”. According to Gary Pearce, Executive Director of Talbot Partnership, alcohol misuse and abuse still have a tremendous impact on our country. As prom and graduation season are beginning to unfold, April is a particularly important month for parents to be aware of the dangers of underage drinking.

Consider these facts:
• In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012).
• Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s young people, more than tobacco or illicit drugs, and underage alcohol use alone costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., 2012).
• More than 14 million people in this country are currently living with what can be defined as an addiction to alcohol.
• Each year, more than 100,000 people die as a result of alcohol-related issues.
• Every year, more than 13,000 people die as a result of liver disease related to alcoholism (rehabinfo, 2012).

As indicated by these statistics, alcohol is still creating a widespread problem of serious personal, physical, social and economic consequences. . The younger people are when they start drinking, the more likely they are to have significant alcohol problems in their lifetime, according to Pearce. What is important to know and be aware of is that changes occur within the mind and body when alcohol is consumed, regardless of the amount. Therefore, even when drinking in moderation, there can be subsequent consequences (National Institutes of Health). Even small amounts of alcohol consumed during pregnancy or combined with certain medications may result in significant adverse consequences and therefore is considered risky drinking (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2003).

For further information on the dangers of alcohol and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067.