By: Jennifer Faringer, Director, DePaul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-Rochester Area
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) recognizes April as Alcohol Awareness Month. The theme of “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’ ” is a “aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly among our youth, and the important role that parents can play in giving kids a better understanding regarding the impact that alcohol can have on their lives,” according to to the NCADD website.
DePaul’s NCADD-RA, a proud affiliate of the national NCADD, is dedicated to education, support, resources, advocacy and referral.
To support this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month theme, please read and share these myths that surround underage drinking. Youth are bombarded with messages, both subtle and overt, from movies, music, social media, making it difficult to decipher what is truth and what is a myth.
Myth: “Everyone drinks, so I need to drink to fit in.”
Fact: National and local surveys show that approximately 80 percent of 12-20-year-olds have not had a drink in the past month.
Myth: “ Drinking is a way to loosen up with my friends.”
Fact: Drinking can make you act foolish, say things you wish you hadn’t and do things you wouldn’t normally do. Drinking also increases the likelihood of fights and sexual assaults.
Myth: “Alcohol isn’t as harmful as drugs.”
Fact: Your brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25 and drinking affects how it develops. Alcohol increases your risk for many diseases to include cancer. Drinking can cause motor vehicle accidents, sending you or others to the emergency room.
Myth: “Beer and wine are safer than liquor.”
Fact: A drink is a drink. A 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine and a shot of liquor are all equivalent to one drink.
Myth: “There’s no reason to wait until I’m 21 to drink.”
Fact: Those who begin drinking before age 15 are more likely to develop a drinking problem later in life than those who don’t begin until 21 or older.
MYTH: “I can just sober up with a cold shower and coffee.”
Fact: It takes two to three hours for a single drink to make its way through your body. There is nothing you can do to speed up that process.
Learn more about underage drinking at ncadd-ra.org/awareness-campaigns/underage-drinking. Please visit ncadd-ra.org to learn more or to request a presentation on this or another addiction-related topic.