Ocean County Health Department Focuses on Alcoholism in April

Mar 26, 2018

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, and reduce stigma, regarding alcoholism. The Ocean County Health Department encourages local communities to focus on alcohol-related issues next month, and, as well, it seeks to inform residents about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

“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,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the county board of health.

Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD public health coordinator, noted, “Alcohol and drug use by young people is disturbingly dangerous for both the person and their community, as such usage is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors, and may result in the development of a dependence or addiction.

“Adolescence is generally a time of increased risk-taking,” Regenye added, “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.’ 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, OCHD director of administration and program cevelopment, said residents can call 732-341-9700, extension 7538, for substance use and alcohol-related information and referrals. —J.K.-H.

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