Chester County’s Department of Drug & Alcohol Services announces the county’s participation in “Alcohol Awareness Month” this April. Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month is a campaign which helps to reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism and encourages communities to spread education and awareness on alcohol, alcoholism and recovery.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 88,000 deaths across the United States due to excessive alcohol consumption,” said Vince Brown, Executive Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. “These deaths do not discriminate against age, race, or socioeconomic status and they are widespread across our country.”
The theme for this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month is Changing Attitudes: It's not a 'rite of passage'.
“This year’s theme is quite fitting, given the stories making national headlines on the dangers of alcohol consumption and hazing and the increase of alcohol-related sexual assaults on college campuses,” added Brown. “Unfortunately, in the college setting, alcohol is often seen as a rite of passage with many parties and opportunities to binge drink alcohol.”
Alcohol use among young people, especially college students between the ages of 18 and 24, is a very dangerous behavior with negative consequences. According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) approximately 1,800 students die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries each year, including motor-vehicle crashes; 696,000 students assaulted by another student who has been drinking; and 97,000 students report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
“We can change the perception of alcohol in our society as a 'Rite of Passage' by generating awareness, increasing education, changing policies and implementing environmental campaigns, such as Alcohol Awareness Month,” noted Brown.
“We have seen several universities across the US increase education on the dangers of alcohol consumption, and also commit to changing their policies regarding underage drinking and alcohol consumption. We must also do our part as a society.”
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Services invites all county residents to support Alcohol Awareness Month by logging onto NCADD’s website, to see how you can help reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism, and spread education and awareness on alcohol, alcoholism and recovery.
Treatment is available for residents. If you have insurance, including Medicaid, please call the number listed on the back of your insurance card to get acdess to drug and alcohol services. If you do not have insurance, please call one of the following agencies for help:
Further questions or additional resources can be found at chesco.org/drugandalcohol, or call the Chester County Information and Referral line at 866-286-3767.