"Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow."
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is joining in the national recognition of April as Alcohol Awareness Month. Designated by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), this month-long effort is intended to increase public awareness of alcohol use, reduce stigma, and encourage local communities to focus on alcohol-related issues. This year’s theme is Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.
More than 18 million individuals nation-wide suffer from alcohol use disorders. Millions of others, such as family members and friends, are negatively affected by another person’s alcohol use. “Twenty-five percent of children in the United States have been exposed to alcohol use disorders in their family,” said Julie Hibben,
Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at the Iowa Department of Public Health. “Youth who experiment with alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent.”
Education and prevention are critically important to reducing alcohol-related problems, and many Iowa communities are highlighting the issue of underage drinking during the month of April. More than 30 town hall meetings across the state will be held to educate, empower, and mobilize communities to take action. Visit www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/townhallmeetings/findameeting/default.aspx to find a town hall meeting in your community.
The Iowa Department of Public Health’s Division of Behavioral Health is responsible for funding provide statewide prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance use and problem gambling disorders. For information about IDPH substance abuse services, please visit www.idph.state.ia.us/.