Ada — April 2014 is Alcohol Awareness Month, and the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Inc. and the Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition are focusing on raising awareness of alcoholism and its impact on young people, families and communities.
In March, Ada Mayor Greg McCortney proclaimed April as Alcohol Awareness Month in Ada and joined in a national grassroots campaign to highlight the critical public health issue of alcoholism and its impact on individuals, families and the community, while highlighting resources available to help.
According to National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Inc., alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous — both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors. Annually, over 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured.
Terri White, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, says that prevention and treatment for substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, must be a priority in Oklahoma.
“Alcohol abuse continues to be an issue in Oklahoma,” White said in a news release. “It leads to a host of negative consequences when left unaddressed; consequences that have far-reaching effects on the individual, families and communities throughout our state.
“However, we can avoid these negative consequences by investing in proven prevention initiatives, and working to provide access to treatment that absolutely can make recovery happen. It is imperative that all Oklahomans have access to these services in order to make a lasting difference.”
White says that too few Oklahomans have access to the care they need, but that community efforts such as what is occurring in Pontotoc County is a positive step in the right direction.
For more information, contact the Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 580-559-5815. Visit www.pcdfc.org for more information.