Happy Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and organizations across the nation are focusing on alcohol and its many implications for our society. Pertinently, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), a government agency that deals with issues related to alcohol and underage drinking, is hosting a series of 1,600 town hall-style meetings across the country this week and next. These meetings are informal get-togethers whose goal is to bring together people from various roles within a community—parents, teens, law enforcement, educators, elected officials—to discuss and raise awareness of underage drinking.

We encourage you to attend a meeting near you, and to participate in the discussion. [CR] volunteer Beau Weston attended a meeting in Danville, KY where he brought up Choose Responsibility’s concept of alcohol education and licensing. “The drinking license idea was clearly new to most people there,” said Weston, “but only one was set against it, and most were willing to give it a hearing.” Check here for a list of meetings in your state, and find one to attend in your area. Email Grace Kronenberg at [CR] if you have questions about what to say!

One Response to “Happy Alcohol Awareness Month”

  1. Jessica C Says:

    The United States has attempted to control drinking issues twice in the past through prohibition legislation. Although the national prohibition that took place in the 1920’s was on an excessive level, it is still very comparable to today’s drinking situation. Forbidding people under the age of 21 to drink causes the same social problems. It is true that many college students and even more commonly now, high school students are consuming alcohol illegally and in irresponsible ways. Drinking underage is seen as an enticing “forbidden fruit,” a “badge of rebellion against authority” and a symbol of “adulthood,” says Professor Ruth C. Engs of Indiana University, a researcher of public health. (Engs) The people of the prohibition era must have felt the same way, and as a result of that, Mafia groups formed to smuggle and sell alcohol, which cause unnecessary violence. Today we are replicating history for those under 21 and making similar oversights that transpired in the past. “The political failure of general Prohibition meant that American adults would increasingly focus justifications for alcohol policy less on the perils of drunkenness and more on the tenuous concept that adults can drink properly but youths cannot or should not.” (Males 190) Prohibition did not work in U.S history and prohibition for young people under the age of 21 is obviously not working now with teens getting older siblings to buy alcohol or even stealing it from their own parents. The research of Engs shows that “those under the age of 21 are more likely to be heavy — sometimes called “binge” — drinkers (consuming over 5 drinks at least once a week).