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Press Release Archive (2016)

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use

Parents can play an important role in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives

Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous — both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors, even for those who may never develop a dependence or addiction. Adolescence is a time of heightened risk-taking and as alcohol and drugs enter the picture, parents are faced with a unique set of challenges. They can simply sit back and hope their kids will “get through it,” or they can take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and helping their kids do the same.

Alcohol Awareness Month 2016It can be daunting to talk with children about drinking and drug use, but it is well worth the effort parents put into it. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations.

Immediate health risks of excessive alcohol include unintentional injuries, risky sexual behavior, and alcohol poisoning. The long term health risks of excessive alcohol includes neurological problems, cardiovascular problems, social problems, depression and anxiety, a variety of cancers, liver diseases and other stomach problems.

You don't need to refrain from alcohol completely to stay healthy; the key is moderation. If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  • Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women, no more than 2 drinks a day for men.
  • Keep track of how much you drink.
  • Don't drink when you are upset.
  • Avoid places where people drink too much.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach
  • Alternate every other alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic beverage such as water, juice, or soda

Learn more about alcohol and your health and find out how the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence can help. 

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