The Scope of the Problem
The mission of the The Community Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking is to promote the reduction of underage drinking and other substance use in Alamance Community and surrounding communities through coordinated, committed and collaborative prevention efforts.
The Scope of the Problem
Alcohol is an addictive drug and the third leading prevent table cause of death in the United States.
Alcohol is the leading cause of death among teens costing the nation an estimated $62 billion annually and costing North Carolina citizens an estimated $1.2 billion annually in medical and other expenses.
Alcohol is the drug of choice among teens and kills more teens than all other drugs combined.
Few commercial products impose a greater economic burden upon society, a cost that is ultimately borne by taxpayers. Alcohol abuse or misuse is often associated with dangerous criminal behaviors including assaults, sexual assault, rape, robbery, domestic violence, child abuse and property crimes. In addition, premature death from causes attributed to alcohol include but are not limited to homicides, suicide, drowning, fire, falls, motor vehicular or other accidental causes and health failure
Increasing the alcohol tax, as recommended by the American Medical Association and the national and North Carolina Institute of Medicine, is a “best practice” to prevent underage drinking. Research confirms that an alcohol tax increase does not negatively impact sales among responsible adult drinkers while such an increase tends to reduce consumption among price sensitive teens and alcohol abusive adults.
For teens, there is no such thing as a safe or healthy drink of alcohol. Because of their still-developing brain and body, medical science documents damage to the brain, heart, liver, lungs, circulatory system, alteration of genetic makeup, growth dysfunction, metabolic syndrome and other serious and potentially long-term health conditions.
Delaying the onset of drinking is a life span issue:
Factors in adolescent's environment affect both the appeal of alcohol and its availability. Among these factors are the social systems with which teens function and with which they interact. Examples of these social systems are parents, friends, family, schools and the community. The media and the larger social culture, including how alcohol is marketed and portrayed, also contribute to alcohol's appeal to young people.
The 2007 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking guides communities to “…..change how we all think, talk, and act when it comes to underage drinking. We need to stop accepting it and to start discouraging it. It’s time to help young people understand that it is not okay for them to drink alcohol. The discussion needs to start long before youth start thinking about drinking.”
According to the 2010 PRIDE Survey conducted in the Alamance-Burlington School System, 20% of 9th graders and 37% of 12th graders reported using alcohol in the past 30 days. Middle school students who used alcohol reported their first use at age 10. High school students who used alcohol reported their first use at age 13.
Underage alcohol use is everybody’s problem-and its solution is everybody’s responsibility.