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LETTER: Alcohol Awareness Month: Help for today, hope for tomorrow

April is the 33rd annual Alcohol Awareness Month.

Founded and sponsored by Facing Addiction with NCADD for 33 years, the theme this year is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”

No other substance is more widely used by America’s youth than alcohol, making alcoholism and alcohol-related problems the No. 1 public health problem in the U.S.

Addressing this issue requires a sustained and cooperative effort between parents, schools, colleges, community leaders and our youth.

The widespread prevalence of underage drinking and the negative consequences it creates remain a stubborn and destructive problem despite decades of efforts to combat it.

Yet, there are four areas that have proven to be effective in prevention of this problem:

1. Curtailing the availability of alcohol to underage populations;

2. Consistent enforcement of existing laws and regulations regarding alcohol purchase;

3. Changing cultural misconceptions and behaviors about alcohol use through education; and

4. Expanded access to treatment and recovery support for adolescents and their families.

But, time is running out.

Studies reveal alcohol consumption by adolescents results in potentially permanent brain damage and impairs intellectual development.

So, let’s get started providing “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.” We can’t afford to wait any longer.

JuaNita Everman

Achieving Recovery Together