Adolescent alcohol use: Risky behavior and addiction

Preventing underage drinking can be especially tricky because alcohol is an easily accessible, highly available, socially acceptable drug; making it seem somehow less dangerous. And yet research proves otherwise.

 

  • Like drinking and driving, or choosing to get in the car with someone who has been drinking: Nearly 40% of all traffic deaths among 16 to 20-year-olds are alcohol-related.
  • Kids who drink are more likely to become sexually active (putting them at greater risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases).
  • Teen girls who binge drink are 63% more likely to get pregnant in their teen years.
  • Students who use alcohol are five times more likely to drop out of school or to believe that earning good grades is not important.

The earlier the onset of drinking begins, the greater the risk of becoming addicted later in life.bigstock-Depressed-Teenage-Girl-38236219

  • 40% of children who start drinking before the age of 15 will become alcoholics at some point in their lives.
  • If the onset of drinking is delayed by five years, a child’s risk of serious alcohol problems is cut in half.

Alcohol is extremely hazardous to the health and safety of our youth, carrying dangerous and even deadly consequences. Underage drinking is also illegal, and by law, carries specific consequences.

Is it a problem? Take a self-assessment quiz and Get Help.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. To learn more about keeping our young people safe and healthy, check out our website www.drugfreenevadacounty.org or Click HERE to visit our Underage Drinking page.

To submit your opinion in our Community Voices section:
1.       Submit up to 250 words
2.      Please include your name, email address, and phone number for follow up contact
3.      Email submissions to mkelley@corr.us

Holiday Mocktail Contest 2013

Community Recovery Resources and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County invite you to participate in our first ever Mocktail Recipe Contest. 

The purpose of the “Mocktail Contest” is to blend this fun and festive contest with the important message of being safe and responsible during the holiday season. Join us in creating awareness about drinking responsibly and encourage hosts to offer delicious, non-alcoholic beverages to their guests. We know that this helps keep our streets safer through the Holidays.

The Holidays are the perfect time to introduce friends and family to the concept of Mocktails – visually appealing, non-alcoholic and delicious  beverages to serve at parties, and to order while you are out on the town. The contest offers holiday entertainers and local restaurants and bars a few new delicious recipes to serve their guests.

You are invited to submit a recipe online here: Submit your recipe HERE! Entries can be made between now and Thursday December 19th, 2013 at Noon. The winner will be chosen on Friday the 20th.

The Winner will receive “Movies and Dessert” for two.

 

 

Parents; Talk, they Hear You

In 2010, the use and consequences of underage drinking cost the U.S. $62 billion. Help prevent underage drinking by talking to kids, as early as 9 years old, about alcohol. For tips on getting the conversation started, visit http://1.usa.gov/16mUbSo.

The Coalition, Sheriff’s, and NEO collaborate to educate students about underage drinking

Local Middle and High School students learn more reasons to say “No Thanks” to alcohol and drugs.

Nevada County Sheriff Brandon Corchero

The Coalition, the Sheriff’s Department, and NEO are collaborating in a series of interactive school presentations about underage drinking consequences, reasons to choose a drug and alcohol free lifestyle and local fun events and activities.With the help of ABC funding, the Sheriff’s Department is focusing on education, prevention and compliance enforcement to reduce youth access to alcohol and underage drinking. The funding also allows them a unique opportunity to collaborate with the Coalition in outreach and education presentations for local students.

On March 11th the presentation at Pleasant Valley School in Penn Valley opened with Sargent Sam Brown and Deputy Brandon Corchero sharing a sound-effect filled slide show for the attending 8th graders from Pleasant Valley School in Penn Valley. Students learned that law enforcement officers often go undercover at places where alcohol is sold. They also learn that if they have an incident with alcohol as a minor they jeopardize something very important to them;  their ability to have a drivers license.  They also learn that arrests are made for adults purchasing or providing alcohol to a minor and merchants face fines and can lose their license selling alcohol to someone under the age of 21.

Prevention Advocate Melissa Kelley

Lynn Skrukrud, Coalition Youth Outreach Coordinator and founder of NEO joined the presentation and began by showing NEO’s video of drug and alcohol free events and activities. Lynn shared:  “NEO represents a ‘new’ way of thinking around living a healthy lifestyle. We are a new generation of youth that choose not to use drugs. We are committed to providing safe and healthy alternatives such as dances, concerts, movie nights, BMX events. Lynn also told the students about NEO’s goal to open a Teen Center that would include an after school program, weekend events, meeting space, workshops, field trips, job training and more.Wrapping up presentation was the Coalition who engaged students in an interactive Q & A session designed to highlight the positive choices teens make and dispel misperceptions of use. Arming students with the truth: Most Teens Don’t use drugs and alcohol. Students enthusiastically engaged in a pop-quiz question: What percentage of Nevada County teens say they’ve never smoked marijuana? The response from the young audience was energetic as they learned that

The Truth Is…73% of Nevada County teens say they’ve never smoked marijuana. 
The Truth Is
… 98% of Nevada County teens say they respect their friends who choose not to drink.
 

The young audience answered questions and jumped at the chance to have an open discussion about youth substance use as “No Thanks” t-shirts were handed out in addition to mood pencils and bracelets. The hope following these presentations is that youth will be better armed with the truth and have a better sense of the healthy alternatives available to them.

 

Arm Them With the Truth

There’s a battle going on, in our world, for our teenagers futures… so we arm them with the truth: MOST of them don’t use drugs and alcohol. The numbers overwhelmingly support this truth.

THE STATS TELL US:
. . . that more than 60% of Nevada County teens report NOT smoking marijuana in the past 30 days – that’s awesome!

. . . that MOST teens say they RESPECT their friends who choose not to drink alcohol or use drugs.

. . . that when MOST teens say they don’t need alcohol to have a good time, they aren’t kidding. Most teens choose NOT to drink.

In this new year the Coalition  for a Drug Free Nevada County  is committed to changing our students’ perceptions about their peers drug/alcohol use… we want them to see that the truth is… NOT everyone’s doing it. Many students tell us their friends don’t pressure them to drink or use… but just in case they find themselves thinking… “Hey, what’s the big deal? Everyone’s does it” … we want them to know the truth and be free to be drug-free… running head-on into bright and promising futures.

The Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County would also like to recognize the amazing volunteer work of community members who are generously giving their time to youth safe havens such as the Hangout and Overtime which provide a safe and positive environment for youth. The youth safe havens are collaborative partnerships between the Coalition and faith-based community members from Grace Lutheran Church (the Hangout) and New Covenant Baptist Church (Overtime). While the Coalition has provided equipment and supplies, the key to the success of these programs is in the volunteers who host, organize, and mobilize community members to operate and promote the safe havens.

The Hangout: An afternoon hotspot for high school students to spend time with friends, meet new people, do homework, and participate in activities like pool, air hockey, ping pong, foosball, etc. Serving about 50 students each school day, the Hangout provides snacks, beverages, and a supportive environment for high school students. Grace Lutheran Church: 1979 Ridge Road, Grass Valley (right next to Nevada Union High School)

For more information on volunteering and/or making a donation contact Pat or Gary Novak at 530.273.0932

Overtime:  A Friday night favorite for local youth from 6th grade through high school. This “open gym” environment provides the youth with a variety of action packed activities to kick off the weekend with volleyball, ping pong, basketball, dancing, music, age-appropriate interactive game consoles, and much more.  Park Avenue Center – 140 Park Avenue, Grass Valley, CA 95945

For more information on volunteering and/or making a donation contact Randy Fields at 530.277.7166

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Prevention Efforts Show Success: Decline in Young Adult Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use

Photo of a mother and daughter.The number of people ages 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes in the past month declined from 2.0 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2011 (14.3 percent decrease), according to SAMHSA’s 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Exit Disclaimer (NSDUH).

“These findings show that national efforts to address the problem of prescription drug misuse may be beginning to bear fruit, and we must continue to apply this pressure to drive down this and other forms of substance use,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.

As the primary source of statistical information on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the United States, NSDUH provides unique insights into current trends in the behavioral health issues that affect communities nationwide. The survey, released by SAMHSA in conjunction with the 23nd annual National Recovery Month Exit Disclaimer observance, also showed that the rates of past-month drinking, binge drinking, and heavy drinking among people under age 21 continued to decline from 2002, as did the rate of past-month tobacco use among youth ages 12 to 17 and among young adults ages 18 to 25.

Specifically, past-month alcohol use among 12- to 20-year-olds declined from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 25.1 percent in 2011, while binge drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) declined from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 15.8 percent in 2011, and heavy drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days) declined from 6.2 percent in 2002 to 4.4 percent in 2011 In addition, the rate of past-month tobacco use among 12- to 17-year-olds continued to decline from 15.2 percent in 2002 to 10 percent in 2011.

However, the survey also found increases in the use of other substances, specifically marijuana and heroin. Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug, and the current rates of marijuana use increased from 6.7 percent in 2007 to 7.9 percent in 2011 among youth ages 12 to 17, from 16.5 percent in 2007 to 19.0 percent in 2011 among young adults ages 18 to 25, and from 3.9 percent in 2007 to 4.8 percent among adults ages 26 or older. In 2011, 22.5 million Americans ages 12 or older were current users of illicit drugs, including 18.1 million marijuana users – up from 14.5 million in 2007. (See Figure 1)

Figure 1: Past Month Illicit Drug Use Among Persons Aged 12 or Older: 2011. Illicit drugs: 22.5, Marijuana: 18.1, Psychotherapeutics: 6.1, Cocaine: 1.4, Hallucinogens: 1.0, Inhalants: 0.6, Heroin: 0.3.  Numbers in Millions.

According to NSDUH, 21.6 million people ages 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2011. Yet only 2.3 million (or 10.8 percent of those who needed treatment) received treatment at a specialty facility—a continuing disparity.

“Behind each of these statistics are individuals, families, and communities suffering from the consequences of abuse and addiction,” Administrator Hyde said. “We must continue to promote robust prevention, treatment, and recovery programs throughout our country.”

To read the full report: 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.