Alcohol Awareness Month Promotes Drinking Problem Prevention

Apr 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Health

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, designed to raise public awareness about the consequences of alcohol misuse. Across the country this week, thousands of communities hosted events to encourage individuals to consider their drinking patterns and determine if they have an alcohol abuse problem.

Alcohol Awareness Month focuses especially on risks to underage drinkers. Research has shown that younger, less experienced drinkers are more likely to indulge in dangerously excessive drinking binges, less likely to recognize the signs that drinking has become a problem, and less likely to seek help. A 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that among young people aged 12 to 20 responding, 10.4 million had consumed alcohol over the past month, and more than half had engaged in high-risk binge and heavy drinking behaviors. The survey results indicated that 19.3 million individuals aged 12 or older needed treatment for an alcohol use problem.

As a preventive measure, National Alcohol Screening Day was held across the country this week. Visitors to the National Alcohol Screening Day website can take an online survey to do a quick, anonymous self-assessment of their drinking behaviors and consider possible related problems such as depressions. The site also helps locate local screening facilities for the general public, college students, and military families.

Alcohol Awareness Month is sponsored annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services. To learn more, visit the SAMHSA website at http://www.samhsa.gov/. Individuals seeking help for an alcohol use problem can use SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.

Individuals seeking to reduce their drinking can find resources at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Rethinking Drinking website.

Parents and others who would like more information on underage drinking and its prevention should visit http://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov.

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