Though other substance concerns make headlines, alcohol use continues to be a health concern. It is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and affects adults and adolescents alike. That is why Rosecrance recognizes Alcohol Awareness Month each April and encourages supporters to join us in the fight against this deadly disease.
Nationally, nearly 86 percent of people over the age of 18 have consumed alcohol in their lives, and over a quarter of adults have reported binge drinking. Among teens, alcohol use has declined over the past decade, but use has leveled in the last several years. The annual Monitoring the Future survey, which tracks youth trends across the country, noted that 55 percent of high school seniors used alcohol in the past year while 43 percent of juniors and 30 percent of eighth-graders had a drink.
In Rosecrance’s home territories, use among teens continues to be a concern. The 2018 Illinois Youth Survey reported that over 40 percent of high school seniors and one quarter of sophomores consumed alcohol within the past month. In Iowa, 20 percent of juniors reported using in the last month. Wisconsin’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey noted that 30 percent of all high school students had consumed alcohol in the past month.
“Alcohol use is very common and because of that it’s also easy to overlook the destructive dangers if casual use becomes an addiction,” said Rosecrance Regional President Carlene Cardosi. “Sadly, there are thousands of lives that are lost each year from this disease, not to mention the many relationships that are ruined, jobs that are lost, families that are destroyed and the reality is we need to educate people on alcohol use disorders, treat those who are in need and support the families and loved ones that are affected. This month is an excellent opportunity to educate, support and reduce stigma of alcohol use disorder.”
Throughout April, Rosecrance will host awareness walks, poster contests, and other activities at sites. Please join us in the spirit of Alcohol Awareness Month by learning more about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and having conversations with adolescents in your life. You might even consider tracking how much you drink, why you drink, or perhaps fasting from consumption for a short time.
If you or a loved one think you might need help, please reach out to Rosecrance’s caring Access counselors at 888-928-5278.