Pennsylvania Marks National Alcohol Awareness Month

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) want to remind residents that alcohol, when abused, can have a significant negative impact on the health and safety of individuals, families and whole communities.

DDAP is committed to providing the resources needed to address the treatment needs of those struggling with addiction. According to the department’s 2013-14 annual report, alcohol was the primary drug of choice for those seeking treatment services in Pennsylvania. Across the U.S., one in every 12 adults suffers from alcohol abuse or dependence.

“Alcoholism is not usually caused by a few occasional drinks, like with any other drug addiction, it is a brain disease that can affect any individual,” said acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis. “Too often, stigma associated with alcoholism will many times prevents individuals from seeking treatment. We want to encourage individuals to seek help for their alcohol addiction to get their lives back on track. This is a disease that requires treatment; and treatment works.”

You may have a drinking problem if you:

•Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
•Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
•Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
•Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
•”Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
•Regularly drink more than you intended to.

If you are seeking treatment, visit www.ddap.pa.gov/needhelpnow to find a treatment provider in your area.

Underage drinking is also a concern. The research shows that kids are less likely to abuse alcohol if their parents talk to them about its dangers. Last year, DDAP partnered with the PLCB, along with the Penn State EPIS Center, the Parent Panel Advisory Council, the Dauphin County Single County Authority, and the Miracle Group at the Hope Station in Harrisburg to launch an initiative called “Talk To Them At Every Age – They’re Listening.” The campaign encourages parents to talk to their children about alcohol. The public service announcements can be found at www.ddap.pa.gov/underagedrinking.

“A very important part of the PLCB’s mission is to promote responsible consumption among those 21 and older and to prevent underage drinking,” said PLCB Chairman Tim Holden. “We know that when it comes to kids and alcohol, parents do make a difference. Through our Bureau of Alcohol Education, we continue to work to give parents the tools they need to open a dialogue with their children. Getting started is the hardest part, but it will make an impact.”

To assist parents in their efforts and to mark Alcohol Awareness Month, the PLCB holds its annual Alcohol Education Poster Contest awards ceremony for K-12 students every April. Students from across the commonwealth use their creativity to promote healthy alternatives to underage drinking and depict the negative consequences of it. This year’s ceremony is scheduled for April 8 in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg.

In addition, the PLCB awards more than $2 million in 2-year grants to organizations working to prevent underage and dangerous consumption, and it hosts a free statewide conference for community groups, law enforcement and educators in the prevention field to share strategies to address alcohol-related issues.

For more information on the PLCB’s alcohol education efforts, visit www.lcb.state.pa.us.


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