OCEAN COUNTY – April is Alcohol Awareness Month.
For 31 years, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., has increased public awareness on alcohol abuse during the awareness month, something the Ocean County Health Department has supported for years.
“Educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly among our youth, and the important role that parents can play in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives is critical in our prevention efforts,” freeholder director Gerry P. Little said. Little is the liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health.
This year’s theme is “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’ The council said underage drinking is directly linked to traffic fatalities, suicide, educational failure, violence, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and many problem behaviors. It affects even those who may never develop a dependence or addiction.
“Adolescence is generally a time of increased risk-taking and as alcohol and drugs enter young lives, parents are faced with a unique set of challenges. Parents often ignore underage drinking as a ‘rite of passage,’” Daniel E. Regenye, public health coordinator for the Ocean County Health Department said. “Parents are encouraged to change their attitude and take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and help their kids do the same.”
Brian E. Rumpf, director of administration and program development for the Ocean County Health Department, said the department can help residents get the help they need with their addictions, alcohol or otherwise.
Ocean County residents can call 732-341-9700, ext. 7538 for information and referrals.