National figures show a downward trend in the number of young people who use alcohol, but alcohol remains the number one drug of choice for America’s youth. In fact, it’s more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined. That’s why it’s important to get involved in Alcohol Awareness Month, observed annually throughout April.
The month-long campaign starts an Alcohol-Free Weekend to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it affects individuals, families, businesses and communities. During Alcohol-Free Weekend, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence extends an open invitation to all Americans to engage in three alcohol-free days. If that’s hard, L.A. CADA encourages you to seek help.
The theme for Alcohol Awareness Month in 2023 is “For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction.” L.A. CADA reminds you that it’s never too early to teach children and youth about the dangers of alcohol.
Why not share these 2019 facts with the young people you know?
- About 24.6% of youth ages 14 to 15 reported having at least 1 drink in their lifetime.
- 7.0 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.
- Adolescent alcohol use differs by race and ethnicity. For example, at age 14, White, Black, and Hispanic youth are equally likely to drink. By age 18, White and Hispanic youth are twice as likely to drink than Black youth.
- 4.2 million youth reported binge drinking at least once in the past month (4-5 drinks over a two hour period)
- 825,000 youth reported binge drinking on 5 or more days over the past month.
- Alcohol causes many deaths. Alcohol is a significant factor in the deaths of people younger than age 21 in the United States each year. This includes deaths from motor vehicle crashes, homicides, alcohol overdoses, falls, burns, drowning, and suicides.
- Alcohol causes many injuries. Drinking alcohol can cause youth to have accidents and get hurt. In 2011 alone, about 188,000 people younger than age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries.
- Alcohol impairs judgment. Drinking can lead to poor decisions about taking risks, including unsafe sexual behavior, drinking and driving, and aggressive or violent behavior.
- Alcohol increases the risk of physical and sexual assault. Underage binge drinking is associated with an increased likelihood of being the victim or perpetrator of interpersonal violence.
- Alcohol can lead to other problems. Drinking may cause youth to have trouble in school or with the law. Drinking alcohol also is associated with the use of other substances.
- No amount of alcohol is legal or safe for people under 21.
If you know a young person with drinking issues, they can find help at L.A. CADA. We’re here at (562) 906-2676.