Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.
This year’s Theme is : “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’ ”
Exposure and use of alcohol and drugs by young people is extremely dangerous, both to themselves and to society. It 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 as alcohol and drugs enter the picture, parents are faced with a unique set of challenges. Parents often forgive underage drinking as a “rite of passage.” They can simply sit back and hope their kids will “get through it,” or they can change their attitude and take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and help their kids delay any experimentation with these substances until they are older and a bit wiser.
That is why this year’s theme is “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.”
It can be unnerving to talk with children/teenagers about drinking and drug use, but it is well worth the effort . In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50 percent less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations and open dialogue. This is the the opportunity for parents to reinforce that using alcohol is not a ‘rite of passage.’ In fostering “changing attitudes” parents can help kids understand that drinking isn’t a way to feel or be independent, “cool,” or to fit in socially. Young people can learn that alcohol is not necessary for having a good time and non-use of alcohol is a healthy and viable option. We can learn to respect another person’s decision not to drink alcohol.
“Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people,” says Andrew Pucher, President and CEO of NCADD, “and parents can make a difference. The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. That’s why it is so important to help your child make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.”
Fairwinds Treatment Center supports this cause through community outreach and working with other organizations as a point of referral for patients and families struggling with alcoholism.Alcoholism Tips for Families Alcoholism Tips for Spouses
If you would like to discuss alcohol or substance abuse programs at Fairwinds Treatment Center, contact us here.