Alcohol and drug use by young people in the U.S. and around the world is a serious problem. Not only is it dangerous, it puts those around them at risk. At Community Reach Center, we remind people that substance abuse can result in a wide variety of negative consequences, including:
- Traffic accidents that cause property damage, injuries and fatalities
- Violent behavior
- Alcohol overdose
- Work and school struggles
- Relationship issues
- Unsafe sexual behavior
- Alcohol addiction
- Dangerous risk taking
The physical, mental, emotional and financial toll of these consequences can be devastating.
About Alcohol Awareness Month
In 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) first sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month. Every year since then, the organization has dedicated April to increasing public awareness of alcohol-related issues and reducing the stigma associated with seeking help for alcoholism. The Council encourages individuals and communities to devote time, effort and resources to looking for answers to these challenging problems.
This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery.” Local, state and national events and activities will be held to educate people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism. In particular, the issue of alcohol use among young people will be in the spotlight. Parents will be encouraged to recognize the powerful impact their influence can have on whether their children choose to use alcohol.
Talking with Young People about Alcohol
Parents with teens face a difficult challenge when it comes alcohol abuse. Adolescents are under a great deal of social pressure to experiment with alcohol and drugs. They are also in a stage of life characterized by increased risk taking and desire to “figure things out for themselves.” However, they are still listening. Children who learn from their parents about the many negative consequences of alcohol and drug abuse are much less likely to use these substances.
What we tell people at our community mental health center is that the hardest part about talking with children is simply starting the conversation. After a few awkward moments, it can quickly turn into a very open and informative interaction that leaves both parent and child feeling glad they had the discussion.
Alcohol Awareness Month is kicked off the weekend leading into April with Alcohol-Free Weekend. That event is designed to draw attention to the issues around alcohol abuse and how it can have a negative impact on individuals, families and communities. NCADD encourages people to spend 72 hours alcohol free and to contact local NCADD affiliates to learn more about alcoholism, especially its early symptoms.
Helping Individuals and Families Fight Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
At our community mental health center, we have programs and information that help young people and their families — or anyone affected by alcohol abuse or addiction — better understand these conditions and take steps to break free from them.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, contact Community Reach Center online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have centers in the north side Denver metro area of Adams County, including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.