Underage Drinking is a Problem We All Face; Help Prevent it Here in Union County
Monday, May 21, 2012 • 4:00pm
Loud and unruly behavior, property destruction, unintentional injuries, fights and violence, and even death due to underage drinking can affect anyone. Drinking and driving is one example: about 45 percent of people who die in crashes involving a drinking driver under the age of 21 are people other than the driver. Because these ‘secondary’ effects can impact community members at random, preventing underage alcohol use is everybody’s business.
Although the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, young people aged 12 to 20 drink about 11 percent of all alcohol purchased in the United States. Underage drinking is a problem shared by all communities here in Union County. Excessive drinking is part of the issue: in 2010, among people aged 12 to 20 who reported drinking alcohol in the past month, an estimated 6.5 million people were binge drinkers and approximately 2 million were heavy drinkers. Binge drinking is defined as drinking five drinks or more for a male and four or more drinks for a female on the same occasion. Underage alcohol use can have serious consequences for both young people’s health and the well-being of the community. The good news is, underage drinking can be prevented.
As part of Prevention Week in Union County 2012, the Union County Regional Coalition asks you to spread the word concerning the dangers of underage drinking and pledge to prevent it from happening in your community. Preventing substance abuse and promoting mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being makes communities stronger and healthier. It’s something all of us benefit from and something we can all contribute to. We are the ones who can make a difference in Union County through small, yet important actions in our daily lives. How are you taking action? Talk to your kids about underage drinking and do not allow underage drinking to happen. Help create a community where underage drinking is not the norm. Start Talking Before They Start Drinking.
Funded by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Prevention Links will coordinate over the next five years a regional coalition whose mission is to assess the needs of Union County in order to enhance collaboration and coordinate prevention efforts that promote a drug free lifestyle and create a healthy community. By 2017, the Union County Regional Coalition will create prevention prepared communities through a collaborative effort to reduce underage drinking, the use of opioids, prescription drugs and new and emerging drugs across the lifespan throughout Union County. All members of the community are welcome to participate in the Union County Regional Coalition. To become a member of the Union County Regional Coalition, please send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.