April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the Putnam County Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies/Putnam remind you that if your drinking has caused problems in your relationships, at work, at home, financially, physically or legally, it’s time to get “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.” Drinking too much alcohol can lead to health problems, including alcohol poisoning, and an increased risk of heart disease. This April, during the 27th anniversary of Alcohol Awareness Month, we encourage you to take this time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
In New York State alone, there were 8,461 drunken driving crashes in 2011, 362 of those crashes were fatal.(NYS DMV) Young drinking drivers are at the highest risk. Drivers 20 years old or younger are almost three times more likely to be involved in alcohol related fatal crashes than other drivers. Even though most teenagers know that you should not drink and drive, nearly a third still accepts rides from drivers who have been drinking.
According to the 2012 Communities That Care Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, 57% of Putnam County youth grades 8-12 have used alcohol in their lifetime. Tragic health, social and economic problems result from the use of alcohol by youth. Underage drinking is a causal factor in a host of serious problems, including homicide, suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, burns, violent and property crime, high risk sex, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and need for treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence.
Community norms that foster alcohol abuse are a major factor. Parental support, monitoring and communication can significantly reducing drinking among adolescents.
The Putnam CTC Coalition encourages all parents to:
- Increase awareness of alcohol use disorders and the success of prevention and treatment.
- Educate yourself and loved ones, especially our youth, about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
- Support and encourage referrals for treatment for individuals when an alcohol addiction is suspected or present.
If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Keep track of how much you drink, avoid places where overdrinking occurs, and find new ways to deal with stress. If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.
Members of the Putnam CTC Coalition are available if you have any questions or would like for us to do a presentation to your organization on this or any other substance abuse trends that affect our children. Please call the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependencies of Putnam at 845-225-4646 for further information and referral services. Help is available today. Please visit and join us on Facebook by searching “Putnam County Communities That Care – NY or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/PutnamCTCNY.