April was Alcohol Awareness Month

By Connie Putnam

April was "Alcohol Awareness Month," which is great timing because following April are prom and graduation seasons, typically times when parties involving alcohol tend to happen.

Alcohol abuse and dependence are major ‎public health problems, resulting in 100,000 deaths per year in the United States and costing the healthcare system billions of dollars annually. Excessive alcohol use is a major cause of disease, injuries, violent crime, lost productivity at work and school as well as family and social problems.

Although moderate alcohol consumption is safe for most people and may even have ‎health benefits for certain individuals, many people do not know what low-risk drinking is, nor do they know the circumstances in which drinking no alcohol is the safest choice.

Do you know how much is too much? Check out http://www.alcoholscreening.org to find out if your drinking habits are risking your health.

Did you know that every day, 5,400 young people under 16 have their first drink of alcohol? And children who are drinking alcohol by 7th grade are more likely to report academic problems, substance abuse, and delinquent behavior in both middle and high school. By young adulthood, early alcohol use was associated with employment problems. Things you can do as a parent include getting to know your children’s friends and their parents, asking other parents about their policy on alcohol, drugs, and tobacco use, and encouraging alcohol-free and drug-free parties and activities for underage youth.

Knox County Community Health Coalition is implementing the Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaign this spring. Check out their Facebook page to learn more about Maine hosting laws and how you can get involved.  https://www.facebook.com/knoxcountycommunityhealthcoalition

When you witness or hear about underage drinking or illegal drug use, you can report it by sending an anonymous tip. Text “kTip” with your tip to 274637 (CRIMES).

For more information, contact Kelsey Arsenault at (207)236-6313 or kelseyarsenault@myfairpoint.net

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