April is Alcohol Awareness Month, as it has been every year since 1987. In 2016, the theme is: “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.” Alcohol Awareness month is sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) who, according to their website, hope to increase:
- Public Awareness and Understanding
- Reduce stigma
- Focus on Alcoholism and Alcohol-Related Issues
Talking with children and teenagers about drugs and alcohol is no easy task, but anyone who has ever been touched by addiction will agree that it is a conversation worth having. Adolescents, more often than not, have preconceived notions about mind altering substances, very few of which are rooted in fact. Misconception about the dangers of alcohol can be a slippery slope, making interventions ever crucial. What better time than now for both parents and their children to learn and have an open, honest conversation about alcohol.
Over the course of April, events will be sponsored and hosted across the country by organizations and schools of learning. The goal of the activities and workshops will be to “create awareness and encourage individuals and families to get help for alcohol-related problems.”
“Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people,” said Andrew Pucher, President and Chief Executive Officer 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.”
NCADD has created a guide to help the those interested in hosting an event. From federal agencies to local community centers, everyone can have a hand in mitigating the risks that adolescents face with drugs, alcohol and the potential for addiction. Research indicates that adolescents who have a conversation with their parents about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, are 50 percent less likely to use mind altering substances, points out NCADD.
Naturally, there are some teenagers who have already developed an unhealthy relationship with drugs and alcohol – addiction can begin at a young age – the disease does not discriminate. At Cottonwood Tucson, our Sweetwater Adolescent Girls Program is specifically tailored for the treatment of adolescent addiction and other accompanying behavioral health problems. Please contact us immediately if your feel that your daughter is struggling – recovery is possible.