Alcohol Awareness Month: Prevention is Key

Director’s Message

Alcohol Awareness Month: Prevention is Key
In April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), observes Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. In April, NCADD is highlighting the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family and community consequences.

As a part of this campaign Local NCADD Affiliates as well as schools, colleges, churches, and countless other community organizations will sponsor a host of activities that create awareness and encourage individuals and families to get help for alcohol-related problems. (check out their resources). Alcohol use by young people is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors, even for those who may never develop a dependence or addiction.

Adolescence is a time of heightened risk taking and young people may not be fully prepared to anticipate all the consequences of drinking alcohol, such as swigging drinks to “celebrate” a special occasion, or being in a car with a driver who has been drinking. Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America’s youth, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined. Among Adventist youth the numbers may be reduced, but the issue is still of concern.

The good news is that there are protective factors among that can reduce youth at risk behaviors, such as use of alcohol. Some documented by Dr Duane McBride and colleagues are: understanding that their body is God’s temple and that they should take care for it; family meals; connection to role models; and also volunteer service.

While ARMin is involved in recovery we must not forget that prevention and enforcing protective factors for resilience as important as recovery.

Katia Reinert, PhD, RN, CRNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC, FCN