Title IX Corner: Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month provides an opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of alcoholism, its causes, effective treatment, and recovery. This helps decrease the stigma surrounding treatment and recovery. This makes seeking help more readily available to those who suffer from this disease.
Facts About Alcohol:
- 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use
- Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation
- Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually
- Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption
What Is Drug Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs.\
Can you get addicted even though you only do it once in a while?
Yes. For most, addiction to alcohol and drugs is a process — not an event. Most people who use alcohol and drugs do so with an intention of only using once or “once in a while.” No one decides that they want to become addicted to alcohol and drugs. But, addictive drugs directly affect the brain. It is easy for occasional use to change to frequent use or constant use — that is addiction. The only thing we know for sure: if you don’t drink alcohol and don’t do drugs, you definitely won’t become addicted.
Why is the age of first use of alcohol so critically important?
Kids who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older. A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine showed that 47% of those who began drinking before age 15 experienced alcohol dependence at some point in their life, compared to 9% percent of those who began drinking at age 21 or older.
Along with alcohol, the most commonly abused drugs among high-school students are marijuana, Vicodin, amphetamines, cough medicine, Adderall, tranquilizers, salvia, hallucinogens, OxyContin, sedatives, MDMA/ecstasy, inhalants, cocaine, and Ritalin.