April is Alcohol Awareness Month!

April is Alcohol Awareness Month!

The beginning of Spring often marks an important part of life for teens across America – proms, graduations and parties are being planned.  The pressure to drink alcohol is at its highest during the adolescent years. According to the CDC, more young people in the U.S. use alcohol than tobacco or illicit drugs. Approximately 42% of youth in 9-12th grade reports drinking alcohol within the past month.  Teens involved in regular alcohol use puts them at great risk for alcoholism, as well as related problems like drunk driving, sexual assault, and further drug use.

Did you know that…
–  Teens that experiment with alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent when they are older than those that wait until age 20.
– Parents play an important role in a teen’s decision to drink. In fact, 74% of teens say their parents are the number one influence on their decision to drink.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) theme for 2013 Alcohol Awareness Month is “Help for Today. Hope For Tomorrow.”  There is no single age group of people more affected by alcohol and drugs than young people.  How can we help our teens today?

Screening, education and prevention are critically important to reducing alcohol-related problems and alcoholism.  You can effectively screen adolescents using RAAPS to reduce risky behaviors, such as alcohol use.  Read more about the research behind question 11 on the RAAPS screening tool which addresses drinking alcohol within the last three months.

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