Drug and Alcohol Awareness Month


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Juan Medrano

As a teen or even an adult, there are decisions to make in life, good or bad. Life can be hard at times. There might be obstacles in your way, but you just have to go with your gut and know what is right and wrong. Some choices can even be made at a party when it comes to being offered a drug or a drink and it is up to you to make the decision whether saying no and trusting yourself.  

January is Drug and Alcohol Awareness Month, and a good time to educate yourself about the dangers of controlled substances. These facts about drugs and alcohol come from National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), Dosomething.org, and Teen Rehab Center, an online organization that helps teens and parents find an accredited rehabilitation program.

-All drugs share the same thing— they affect the brain and change the way the brain responds to issues of  self-control, judgement, emotion, motivation, memory and learning.          

-All drugs can cause negative health effects and can lead to addiction.

-About 50% of high school seniors do not think is harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice.

-Nearly 16% of eighth graders have smoked cigarettes, and 7% of high school seniors smoke every day.  

-Every year 88,000 deaths are attributed to excessive alcohol use.

-Alcoholism is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation.

-Deaths each year are due to overdose or other complications from drug use.

-The most commonly used and abused drug, after alcohol, is marijuana.

-More teens die from prescription drugs than heroin and cocaine combined

-Teens who consistently learn about the risk of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t.

If you feel being pressured or confused about drugs and alcohol, talk to your school counselor or health teacher and most importantly your parents so next time being at a party, school, or even at your friend’s house you’ll be ready to make the right decision. If you or someone you know is struggling with drugs and alcohol addiction there are some options to help you, make an appointment at the health service center, there are also counselors available through NICASA, or try and attend a Al-Anon meetings in Round Lake.