April – Alcohol Awareness Month (Week 2)

April 15, 2021

April is set aside to bring awareness to Alcohol Awareness and to increase awareness of alcohol addiction. This week, let’s look at the harm of adolescent alcohol abuse as outlined by the American Addiction Centers at www.alcohol.org:

Teenagers who begin abusing alcohol in their formative years are very likely to suffer from serious health and legal consequences according to an American Addiction Centers online article.

Underage drinking is one of the major contributors to death from injuries among adolescents. About 5,000 people, according to the American Addiction Centers, under the age of 21 die every year due to the consequences of alcohol abuse. The statistics speak for themselves:

• 1,900 deaths involving motor vehicle crashes because one person drove while intoxicated.
• 1,600 homicide deaths after consuming too much alcohol.
• 300 suicides after drinking too much.

Young people who begin drinking before the age of 15 are at much greater risk for developing other substance abuse problems, engaging in risky sexual behaviors, becoming the victim of sexual assault, or getting into serious accidents, especially car crashes or physical fights.1 How to determine if an adolescent may be abusing alcohol? Look for these physical signs provided by the American Addiction Centers:

• Bloodshot eyes.
• Smaller pupils.
• Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
• Deterioration in appearance.
• Being exhausted or sick often.
• Impaired coordination or displaying bruises, cuts or other injuries from accidents like falling.
• Smelling like alcohol.
• Appearing drunk.
• Empty bottles in the teen’s room or in the garbage.
• Faltering academic success.
• Developing truancy problems.
• Lower participation in events or hobbies that were once enjoyed, such as sports, extracurricular activities, reading, etc.
• Changes in social groups.
• Becoming isolated or withdrawn.
• Acting suspicious.
• Demanding privacy and clashing with family over this condition.
• Stealing money
• Lying, or become defensive about potential alcohol abuse.
• Other changes in personality, behavior, habits or grooming.
• Sudden mood changes.

Beloved, it is important to remember that alcohol and drug addiction can happen even in the best of families and can affect the whole family. If you or a family member is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, contact a physician or health care agency for assistance and support. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services also provides SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. SAMHSA offers a national helpline that is free, confidential and 24/7/365 days a year treatment referral and information service in English and Spanish for individuals, families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) TTY 1-800-487-4889

Source:

1 American Addiction Centers Editorial Staff, Updated December 30, 2019.

Next Week: Continuation

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your medical doctor or health care provider. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.