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April Is Alcohol Awareness Month

Help spread the word about underage drinking prevention during Alcohol Awareness Month this April. Underage alcohol use is a significant public health concern. The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly a quarter (22.8 percent) of underage people were current alcohol users and approximately 14 percent were binge alcohol users.

Alcohol Awareness Month aims to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma, and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month. The 2016 theme is “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.”

An important part of Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend (April 1–3, 2016). This three-day effort encourages all Americans to participate by not consuming alcohol and by learning about alcoholism and its early symptoms.

NCADD offers a downloadable organizer’s guide, with resources that organizations can use to plan events during Alcohol Awareness Month. Event organizers also may choose to connect their event with the Communities Talk: Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking initiative.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has $500 planning stipends available to support organizations holding underage drinking prevention events as part of Communities Talk. Contact info@stopalcoholabuse.net for more information.

April 7 Is National Alcohol Screening Day

National Alcohol Screening Day first launched in 1999 through efforts by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to:

  • Offer free and anonymous alcohol screening in settings accessible to the general public;
  • Provide referrals for treatment to participants who are identified as drinking at unhealthy levels; and
  • Educate the public about the effect of alcohol on health.

More information and the outcomes of past National Alcohol Screening Days are available here.

New Highlights from the December 2015 STOP Act Report to Congress Available

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released Important Facts About Underage Drinking: Highlights from the 2015 STOP Act Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking. The report provides annual data on the prevalence and patterns of underage drinking as well as effective prevention solutions. The report indicates that continued efforts are needed to implement evidence-based practices and programs to address underage alcohol consumption. Additionally, many audiences (e.g., policymakers, coalitions, health professionals, educators, law enforcement, youth-serving organizations) play important roles in underage drinking prevention.

SAMHSA Releases Snapshot of Behavioral Health Issues for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Boys and Men

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a brief highlighting issues specific to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander males. The report breaks down data on their prevalence of depression, suicide, and substance misuse. It includes specific concerns related to behavioral health among this population, as well as help-seeking attitudes and behaviors. The brief also includes data about educational factors and involvement with the criminal justice system.