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A 2014 survey found one in five Jackson County high schoolers drank alcohol in the previous month—putting a fine point on the need to discuss alcohol use during Alcohol Awareness Month, according to the Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (JCSAPC).

“More than 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol-use disorders,” said Ravenn Moore of JCSAPC. “It’s especially important for young people to understand the pervasive effects of alcoholism and underage drinking.”

Moore cited the 2014 Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth survey, which found 21 percent of Jackson County high school youth drank in the previous 30 days, with 29 percent reporting they’d been drunk before.

Alcohol is a depressant drug and works to slow down some of the body’s functions including heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Excessive alcohol use, underage drinking and binge drinking (5 or more drinks on a single occasion) can result in serious health problems such as brain and liver damage, hypertension and fetal damage in pregnant women, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA).

“As a community, we have to address the social norms surrounding alcohol use,” Moore said. “If you are 21 years or older there is a responsible way to use alcohol by following dietary guidelines. There’s also a dangerous way to use alcohol, especially if you drink underage.”

For more information on Alcohol Awareness Month visit The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence website, ncadd.org. For local resources and support:

  • Central Michigan 2-1-1 can connect people to the nearest program or support organization to deal with alcohol abuse or dependence. Resources are available for those who are alcohol-dependent or have family members abusing alcohol. Dial 2-1-1 on any phone or go online to www.centralmichigan211.org
  • Home of New Vision is a local organization providing case management and peer support programs and services to help those affected by addiction. For services with this agency or referral for other forms of treatment, assistance is available by calling (517) 788-5596 or visit www.homeofnewvision.org.

More information about:

Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and its activities, please contact Ravenn Moore at (517) 796-5133 or via email at rmoore@uwjackson.org. Visit our website: drugfreejackson.com.

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