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7 Things you might not know about underage drinking

underage-drinking

Underage drinking is a serious problem in America.  Here are 7 things you might not know about underage drinking.

 

  1. Alcohol use among youth has serious repercussions. Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking. This includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings.
  2. A lot of underage drinking goes on. According to data from the 2005 Monitoring the Future study, an annual survey of U.S. youth, three-fourths of 12th graders, more than two-thirds of 10th graders, and about two in every five 8th graders have consumed alcohol. Many youth binge drink, consuming four, five, or more drinks at a time.  Data show that 11 percent of 8th graders, 22 percent of 10th graders, and 29 percent of 12th graders had engaged in binge drinking within the past two weeks. The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students, during the past 30 days, 22 percent binge drank and 8 percent drove after drinking.
  3. Underage drinking is linked to risky behavior. Frequent binge drinkers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including using other drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, having sex with six or more partners, and earning grades that are mostly Ds and Fs in school .
  4. Underage drinking is linked to alcohol dependence later in life. Research shows that the serious drinking problems typically associated with middle age actually begin to appear much earlier, during young adulthood and even adolescence.  People who reported starting to drink before the age of 15 were four times more likely to also report meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.
  5. Drinking before or during puberty can have serious effects on development. Drinking alcohol prior to or during puberty may upset the critical hormonal balance necessary for normal development of organs, muscles, and bones. Studies in animals also show that consuming alcohol during puberty adversely affects the maturation of the reproductive system.
  6. Hereditary factors play a large role in determining whether someone will become an underage drinker. Children of those suffering from alcohol dependence are more likely to begin drinking at a young age and more likely to later suffer from alcohol dependence. In fact, Children of those suffering from alcohol dependence are 6 times more likely to suffer from alcohol dependence themselves.
  7. There is a huge need for treatment for youth suffering from alcohol dependence and this need is largely unmet. 1.4 million youth met the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence, but only 227,000 actually received any treatment for these problems.

EDITORIAL: Alcoholism Within The Asian-American Community

Although the rate of alcoholism within the Asian American community is lower than the rate for the general public, it is still a significant problem, with 13.3 percent of Asian Americans classified as binge drinkers, and a 3.6 percent lifetime incidence of alcohol use disorders according to the NIH.  Problems exist for family members of those with alcohol dependence in the Asian American community.  Asian Americans with alcohol use disorders receive treatment at a far lower rate than other ethnic groups, according to the NIH.  There are several possible reasons for this.  Most Asian Americans strongly value family members and ties and don’t want to risk damaging these ties by bringing up topics like alcoholism. There is also a strong emphasis on saving face in most Asian cultures, which makes it hard to confront someone with alcohol addiction, especially if the sufferer is older. That is why it is especially difficult for many within the Asian American community to deal with family members who have substance abuse problems. We’ll look at some problems relatives of alcoholics face, what are some treatment options, and some of the resources available to help relatives of people with alcohol abuse problems.

Often, family members of alcoholics are afraid to confront their loved one.  Family members are afraid they might lose the relationship, as they do not want to be seen as causing trouble within the family, or they don’t see the harm in protecting and rescuing their loved one time and time again even though it allows their loved one to avoid facing the consequences of alcohol dependency.  There are several possible solutions to these problems.   If family members are afraid of losing the relationship with their loved one suffering from alcohol dependence, they can practice compassion while setting boundaries.   This means being able to say “No” and not financially supporting their family member while they suffer from alcohol problems.  Another problem family members face when confronting a loved one suffering from alcohol issues is the fear that they will be singled out and criticized within their family if they confront their loved one about his or her alcohol problem.  This can be counteracted by discussing the problem with other family members, building support for action, and possibly staging an intervention.  A lot of times, family members who rescue their loved one time and time again, which can be problematic as it allows people suffering from alcohol dependence to continue in their path without facing responsibility for their actions.   The solution is for concerned family members to stand  their ground and be prepared to lose the relationship temporarily.  An intervention or other strong action may be necessary., and  professional guidance may be needed. Overall, alcoholism  creates a difficult situation for families who struggle with loving a person but not their disease.

There are many treatment options that may be engaged for someone suffering from alcohol dependence. Treatment may involve a brief intervention, counseling, an outpatient program, or a residential inpatient stay.  Detoxification at an inpatient treatment center combined with treatment with drugs might be necessary.  Sedatives are sometimes necessary to control tremors and shaking and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.  Drugs such as naltrexone are often used to remove the pleasurable sensations alcoholics get from drinking.  Family therapy is also sometimes used to help the entire family cope with the problem.

In addition to professional counseling services, there are also several non-profit organizations that help and support family members who have alcoholics in their families.   Al-Anon and Alateen are two good support groups for family members of alcoholics, as is ODASA, an Asian American Recovery Services program.

Here is more information about ODASA.

Some websites with good information about alcoholism are listed below.

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/dealing-with-the-elephant-in-the-roomalcoholism

http://psychcentral.com/lib/when-family-members-protect-alcoholics/0002847

http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/hff80302.page

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcoholism/DS00340/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

DFC National Coalition Academy Week 3

DFC Project Coordinator Athila Lambino and Other Substance Abuse (OSA) Organization rep Mary K. Bier joined classmates from coalitions in Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, and North Carolina at the National Guard Museum in Dupont, WA once again for the third and final round of the National Coalition Academy, as led by CADCA trainers Dave Shavel and Teresa Bishop.  The week-long training took place from 9/9 to 9/13, and focused on topics such as policy advocacy, and sustainability.  All coalitions were assigned “homework,” which includes creating products such as a community assessment, logic model, strategic and action plans, evaluation plan, and sustainability plan by December 2013.

We’re excited about creating these products with our DFC coalition so that we can move a few steps closer to implementing our strategies for reducing the harm associated with substance use in South San Francisco!

NCA Week 3 Cohort 6-6692web

Link to High-Resolution version of image: HERE 

 
To my coalition colleagues in WRCTC Cohort 6:  
It has been an incredible pleasure and privilege learning and working with all of you in these past 1-3 weeks.  We share many of the same obstacles and challenges in both our professional and personal lives, and yet it is our passion for the work that we do that continues to drive us forward.  I wish all of you the best of luck in working with your coalition in your community, and I’m eager to reconnect with all of you at the CADCA National Leadership Forum in February 2014 to share stories of our progress.  Please stay in touch!
Love, Peace, and Respect for the work you do.
-Athila Lambino
 
 

NEWS: October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

In 2011, President Obama issued the first-ever Presidential Proclamation designating October as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. The tradition will continue in 2013, as parents, youth, schools, businesses, and community leaders across the country join in this month long observance of the role that substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities.

Click the image below to view the full PDF brochure.

Octobernationalsubs

ANNOUNCEMENT: Presentation on Affordable Care Act and Behavioral Health Care

Daly City Youth Health Center will be hosting a presentation on the Affordable Care Act and Behavioral Health Care. Clara Boyden, with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services of San Mateo County, will share her vast knowledge of the Affordable Care Act implementation, specifically how that will impact Alcohol and Other Drug and Mental Health Services.

Details: Friday, September 6, 10:30-12 at Our Second Home on Price St. in Daly City, California 94015.

Space is limited. RSVP ASAP!

Click on the image below to download the PDF flyer.

Affordable Health Care Act

Lung Cancer Alliance’s Campaign to End the Stigma of Lung Cancer

Although these ads have been around for a while, I thought it would be nice to share again since there is still a struggle to “de-stigmatize” lung cancer.

Lung cancer is a complicated disease; the two main types of lung cancer are Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, making up 80-85% of all cases, and typically grows and spreads more slowly than small cell lung cancer. SCLC makes up 15-20% of all lung cancer cases. It is a fast-growing cancer that spreads rapidly to other parts of the body. To read more about NSCLC and SCLC, click here.

Many people believe that if you have lung cancer, you did something to deserve it. What they don’t know is that lung cancer doesn’t discriminate; even non-smokers can get lung cancer. Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, claiming more lives than colon, breast, and prostate cancer combined, but is the least funded.

To learn more about the Lung Cancer Alliance, lung cancer, support and resources, and how you can make a difference, click on the image below.

LungCancerAlliance

A great way to donate or raise awareness and funding for lung cancer research is through the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation’s Jog For Jill. Click the image below to learn more about who Jill’s Legacy. There are Jog for Jill’s nationwide, so visit the website to find out when the closest run is for you!

JogForJill

Some facts about lung cancer from jillslegacy.org:

  • 80% of newly diagnosed lung cancer patients either never smoked or quit smoking decades ago.
  • Every three minutes another person is diagnosed with lung cancer.
  • The underfunding of lung cancer has kept its survival rate as low as it was in 1971.
  • Lung cancer will not end or be cured if everyone quit smoking right now.