In the state of Georgia the legal age to purchase alcohol is 21, and despite this law and many of the accepted prevention measures, our youth are still having a problem with dealing with the pressures of alcohol. Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States. It is documented that people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all the alcohol consumed in the United States, per statistic Center for Disease Control. Underage drinking poses many problems for youth in every area of their life.
Let us take a look at some of the documented issues in school for an underage person who consumes alcohol. Underage drinking creates problems in the school environment with higher absences, failing grades and irrational decision making. There are also social issues to consider, such as, physical fights and a lack of student participation. It has been well documented how alcohol effects the brain of an underage drinker. Alcohol consumption influences the brain of a youth negatively and can have life-long consequences, not only for the youth, but for the family as a whole.
In the state of Georgia, we are using tools and strategies to help combat underage drinking, including the development and implementation of comprehensive community based programs. These programs help to educate and expose our youth and families to increase awareness about alcohol and marijuana.
Beyond the Bell, a non-profit prevention agency, targets youth 9-20 years of age and is committed to bring evidence-based programs and strategies to Savannah that tackles these issues of underage drinking and marijuana use. We strive to bring clear and positive education to families. Beyond the Bell has been in operation for almost 17 years and has focused totally on the issues of youth consuming alcohol and marijuana in Rockdale, Upson, Conyers and now in Savannah, Georgia. We are dedicated in pursuing those programs proven to help youth choose a path that is clear of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco. Please join us this April in observing Alcohol Awareness Month and take this and ever opportunity to talk to your youth about it.
A big component of Alcohol Awareness Month is to de-stigmatize alcoholism and substance abuse in general. We believe that through open conversation and education we can combat a problem that thrives in silence.