April is Alcohol Awareness Month
Underage drinking is a serious public health problem in Iowa. Alcohol use among youth can cause health and social problems, and can even lead to death. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that use of alcohol and other drugs is second only to depression and other mood disorders as the most frequent risk factor for suicidal behavior.
Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth nationally and in Iowa. Sixteen percent of eighth graders in Iowa report drinking alcohol before turning 13 years old, and more than one in four high school juniors have drunk alcohol in the last 30 days.
“Studies show that youth who drink alcohol are more likely to use other drugs, experience higher absences from school, and have poor or failing grades,” said Julie Hibben, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at the Iowa Department of Public Health. “We encourage all parents to get informed and to talk to your kids about the potential consequences of underage drinking.”
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Division of Behavioral Health is joining other organizations across the country to raise awareness on underage drinking.
For more information on alcohol use and underage drinking, please visit www.idph.state.ia.us/.