By Katie Kust, Substance Abuse Prevention Intern
Every April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase the public’s awareness and understanding of alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. The theme for this 29th year of awareness is, “For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction.” This year, Helping Services and Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health want everyone—especially youth—to understand the importance of treatment and prevention of alcoholism.
Early education encourages individuals and their families to remain aware of the issue and empowers them to take action to prevent alcoholism.
For America’s youth, alcohol is often the drug of choice, which can lead to alarming consequences. Alcohol is dangerous for young people because it can lead to traffic fatalities, educational difficulties, unsafe sex, and other behavioral problems for anyone, not just those that develop an addiction. Adolescence is already a complicated phase for young people; it doesn’t need to be further complicated by alcohol.
Celebrate April 3-5!
In support of Alcohol Awareness Month, we encourage you to celebrate an Alcohol-Free Weekend on April 3–5, 2015. This weekend is designated to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting individuals, families, and their community. You can do your part by:
- Telling your friends and family about the weekend event
- Putting up a yard sign to show your support
- Writing a letter to your editor stating why you think this issue is important
- Joining your local substance abuse prevention coalition
This April, take time to talk with the youth in your life about the effects of alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. Visit www.helpingservices.org/talk to find resources to start talking. If you know someone struggling with addiction, refer them to a treatment and recovery agency. Contact Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health at 800-400-8923 for information on services in our area.