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September-October 2014 - CHOOSE to say NO to ALCOHOL or DRUGS
FACT: A recent study of 295 high school students suggests that drinking and getting drunk at an early age are key risk factors for alcohol abuse. The participants who had their first drink at a very young age progressed more quickly to heavy drinking than those who started drinking or had their first binge drinking experience later.1
HOPE:  Parents can play a key role in helping their children avoid this at risk behavior. If age of any use is the primary risk factor, our efforts should be primarily focus on preventing initiation of ANY use. This study amounts to the evidence that it is best to say NO to alcohol.

FACT: According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 9.3 million underage drinkers across America are putting their health and futures at risk. A study showed that underage drinkers (ages 12 to 20) were more than twice as likely to wind up with a serious health outcome, such as hospitalization or death, if they also used drugs at the same time.2
HOPE: When parents and caregivers connect with their young child and talk about the risks of underage drinking they are less likely to engage in such behaviors. Consider initiating the conversation about alcohol with your kids today. Resources are available at www.SAMHSA.gov/underage-drinking. 3

FACT: According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, 1 in 10 adolescents (10.7%) had a major depressive episode the previous year and 1.4% had a substance abuse disorder combined with depression. Sadly, only 38% received treatment.4 
HOPE: Knowing common depression symptoms among adolescent can help parents and friends offer help in a loving and non-judgmental way. Connecting depressive adolescents with adequate health care and treatment is a critical first step in reducing the high prevalence of depression and suicide in this age group. 

FACT: According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, 56.4% of adults were alcohol drinkers and nearly half of those (24.6%) were binge drinkers. Often, substance use like alcohol and drugs go hand-in-hand with mental illness for while 1 in 5 (20%) adults reported a mental illness in this survey, 3.2% also reported substance use.4
HOPE: It is possible to become unhooked from such harmful substances. Recovery programs are available to help people deal with their substance use and also improve mental health.4 12-Step and other recovery programs have shown to be effective in helping people quit and regain their lives. Take the first step today by going to www.AdventistRecovery.org

  1. Corbin, W (October, 2014). Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
  2. SAMHSA news release (October 2014). http://www.samhsa.gov/data/spotlight/spot143-underage-drinking-2014.pdf
  3. SAMHSA Underage drinking prevention –  http://beta.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking
  4. The NSDUH report (Sept 2014). http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//NSDUH14-0904/NSDUH14-0904.pdf

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