Underage drinking is a problem that continues to rise. And multiple studies reveal that young…
The Dangers Faced by Underage Drinkers
Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), began in 1987. The goals are to eliminate the stigma of alcoholism so that more people will be ready to admit a problem and step forward to ask for help, help the public become better informed about the impact of alcohol abuse on our communities, reduce the number of alcohol-dependent citizens and innocent victims harmed in alcohol-related accidents.
The 2014 Alcohol Awareness Month campaign is focused on underage drinking with the theme Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow. It will provide several ways for people to connect with important information on how they can help to prevent alcohol abuse, as well as the many forms of treatment available for those trapped in addiction. The NCADD helps spread the word via schools, civic group meetings, universities and churches.
Underage drinkers risk being involved in a serious or deadly car crash, ill-advised sexual behavior, poor performance in school, alcohol poisoning, violence and more. Kids think these things will never happen to them, but better than 6,500 underage youth die every year in an alcohol-connected accident, with many more injured. And young people who drink before they turn 21 are at greater risk for becoming alcohol dependent after they do reach legal drinking age:
- Alcohol, the number one substance of choice for minors, kills more kids than all other substances put together
- Every day 7,000 youth under age 16 get their first taste of alcohol
- Every year 1,700 college kids die through an alcohol-related accident
- 25 percent of our nation’s children live in a home where there is an alcohol problem.
Look for an awareness event near you and take the time to attend. Share the information you learn with others around you. It’s a problem that can be turned around when there is collective will to do so. But people need to recognize the problem before they will work to fix the problem.