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Alcoholism affects us all

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A guest editorial by Crissy Caldwell of the Campbellsville/Taylor County Anti-Drug Coalition

Each day, millions of individuals and families struggle to cope with the harsh realities of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

To highlight the prevalence and seriousness of alcohol abuse in the U.S., the Campbellsville Taylor County Anti-Drug Coalition would like community members to recognize April as National Alcohol Awareness Month, as declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Founded in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Alcohol Awareness Month aims to raise community awareness about the gravity of alcohol abuse and addiction, and to educate the public that alcoholism is a disease from which a person can recover. Untreated alcohol abuse and addiction can have a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.

By heightening awareness around this disease, and encouraging individuals to seek help the coalition is working to eliminate the stigma of addiction in our community.

One in every 13 adults, or 14 million Americans, abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. Alcohol abuse can affect anyone at any age - from babies born with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder due to prenatal exposure to alcohol, to youth to adults. More than one quarter of young people ages 12 to 20 drink alcohol, while legally still prohibited from doing so. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are also big problems in high schools and on college campuses.

Underage alcohol consumption can have many undesirable consequences such as lowered academic performance, engaging in unwanted or unplanned sexual activity, an increased risk for suicide and homicide, abuse of other drugs and death from alcohol poisoning.

The Campbellsville Taylor County Anti-Drug Coalition is dedicated to making our community a healthy substance free community for our youth through prevention, advocacy, choices and teamwork. For more information, call 789-1925 or visit www.ctccoalition.com.