News Update April 2022
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While national figures show a downward trend in the number of young people who use alcohol, alcohol remains the number one drug of choice for America’s youth, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.

That’s why it’s important to get involved in Alcohol Awareness Month, observed annually throughout April. Sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month encourages community organizations to host events that increase public awareness and educate people about the treatment and prevention of alcohol use disorder.
source: CADCA
Facts about Alcohol Use
Prevalence of Drinking in the U.S: 
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.6 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime, 69.5 percent reported that they drank in the past year and 54.9 percent reported that they drank in the past month. The chart below shows the breakdown of men vs. women among those who reported current alcohol use.  
According to the 2019 NSDUH, about 7.2 percent of people ages 12 and older who had AUD in the past year received any treatment in the past year.
For more Alcohol Facts and Statistics visit this page from NIAAA.
Underage drinking:
Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s youth.
Underage Drinking poses a range of serious risks and consequences such as:
  • Death and injury- motor vehicle accidents, overdoses, falls, and suicide
  • Poor decision making that can result in aggression and violence
  • Increased risk for sexual assault
  • Interferance with brain development and increased risk for alcohol use disorder
To learn more about underage drinking, download this fact sheet from NIAAA
Prevalence of Binge Drinking and Heavy Alcohol Use in the U.S.: 
In 2019, 25.8 percent of people ages 18 and older (29.7 percent of men in this age group and 22.2 percent of women in this age group) reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month, and 6.3 percent (8.3 percent of men in this age group and 4.5 percent of women in this age group) reported that they engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month.
Sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), CDC, Region 5 Priority Setting Report 2020
Harm Reduction and Prevention
Rethinking Drinking from the National Institutes of Health provides research-based information for adults who like to enjoy a drink now and then. NIH recognizes that most adults do enjoy doing so when socializing with family and friends, and wants us to know how to do so safely.

On their webpage you can learn:
  • Guidelines for drinking
  • How to examine your own individual drinking behaviors
  • How to recognize the signs of alcohol use disorder
  • Tools for making a change

Use the Cocktail Content Calculator, Drinking Tracker Card or Alcohol Calorie Calculator to help keep track of intake and help determine whether a change in habits is needed.
Centers for Disease Control
According to the CDC, there are some people who should not drink including those who are:
  • younger than age 21.
  • pregnant or may be pregnant.
  • driving, planning to drive, or participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness.
  • taking certain prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol.
  • suffering from certain medical conditions.
  • recovering from alcohol use disorder
More Tips for Reducing the Risk of Harm While Using Alcohol

  • Coordinate transportation in advance
  • Measure your drinks
  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Stay hydrated and eat before drinking
  • Reduce the number of days you drink per week or month
SAMHSA's Talk They Hear You Campaign
One of the most important things we can do to prevent underage drinking is to talk to young people about it. SAMHSA's Talk They Hear You campaign is designed to help parents and caregivers start these important conversations with ther children as early a possible. From their website:

Parents have a significant influence in their children’s decision to experiment with alcohol and other drugs. Although it may not seem like it, when parents talk about underage drinking and substance use, their children do hear them.

Help Talking with Children Under 21
“Talk. They Hear You.”® originally focused on helping parents with children ages 9–15 to prevent young people from starting to drink. However, research suggests the chances that children will try alcohol or other drugs increases as they get older. Around age 9, children begin thinking alcohol may not be just for adults. By the time they are seniors, almost 70 percent of high school students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose.

Utilize their customizable parent resources which include TV and radio PSAs, brochures, tip sheets, and fact sheets.

They also have school and educator resources, highlighting ways teachers, administrators and other school staff can play a role in preventing underage drinking. Just this past November, SAMHSA kicked off a Student Assistance Program webinar series.
Let's Mention Prevention
This Connecticut based campaign was created by local prevention councils to address substance use issues in their communities.
The digital toolkit, housed within includes a power point presentation, billboard designs, pamphlets, and flyers that can be downloaded.

Partner with your local alcohol retailers to insert this message into bags at the check out:
Call to Action During Alcohol Awareness Month
Things we can all do starting today!
  • Prevention Partners can share this newsletter and download the resources
  • Have conversations about alcohol use- with youth and adults
  • Model moderate drinking habits in front of youth
  • Always plan for a designated driver
  • If you are worried about a loved one, friend, or even yourself, seek treatment; it's ok to ask for help and help is available
  • Sponsor alcohol- free events in your community
  • Practice self-care and healthy coping skills
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