April 2021 is the 35th annual Alcohol Awareness Month. Founded and sponsored by Facing Addiction with NCADD for 35 years, the theme this year is “Changing attitudes: It’s not a rite of passage.”

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

Addressing this issue requires a sustained and cooperative effort between parents, schools, community leaders, law enforcement, the faith community, government, businesses, health care, justice/corrections, media, youth serving organizations 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.

There are four areas that have proven to be effective in prevention of this problem:

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  • Curtailing the availability of alcohol to underage populations;

  • Consistent enforcement of existing laws and regulations regarding alcohol purchase;

  • Changing cultural misconceptions and behaviors about alcohol use through education;

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

Studies reveal that alcohol consumption by adolescents results in brain damage – possibly permanent – and impairs intellectual development. So, let’s get started on changing attitudes: It’s not a rite of passage.

To learn more about Hubbard in Prevention Coalition, contact Angela Graham at 218-255-3692 or angelagraham@catholichealth.net.