Noting that alcohol “remains the most heavily abused substance by America’s youth,” acting U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu, M.D., M.P.H., called for government, school officials, parents, communities, and youth themselves to do more to prevent underage drinking.
“We can no longer ignore what alcohol is doing to our children,” said Moritsugu in issuing the first Surgeon General’s policy aimed at the issue of underage drinking. “Too many Americans consider underage drinking a rite of passage to adulthood,” said Moritsugu. “Research shows that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later in life. New research also indicates that alcohol may harm the developing adolescent grain. The availability of this research provides more reasons than ever before for parents and other adults to protect the health and safety of our nation’s children.”
The Call to Action puts great emphasis on changing public attitudes toward youth alcohol use, while also giving a nod to some of the other factors that influence youth decisions to drink, including the "normal maturational changes that all adolescents experience; genetic, psychological, and social factors specific to each adolescent; and the various social and cultural environments that surround adolescents, including the families, schools, and communities."
“These factors – some of which protect adolescents from alcohol use and some of which put them at risk – change during the course of adolescence,” Moritsugu noted in his introduction to the Call to Action. “Because environmental factors play such a significant role, responsibility for the prevention and reduction of underage drinking extends beyond the parents of adolescents, their schools, and communities. It is the collective responsibility of the nation as a whole and of each of us individually.”
CTCADA offers both adolescent intervention and treatment programs. Education, individual counseling, family therapy, group counseling and referral to other resources are all part of a comprehensive effort to prevent or intervene in youth alcohol and drug abuse. Call us at 254-690-4455!