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Lancaster Declares April 'Alcohol Awareness Month' | Families

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Lancaster Declares April 'Alcohol Awareness Month'
Families, Health, News
Lancaster Declares April 'Alcohol Awareness Month'

   Village of Lancaster leaders are teaming up with addiction prevention advocates to raise awareness of the dangers linked to alcohol dependency.
   Deputy Mayor Kenneth L. O'Brien III on Friday presented the Lancaster-Depew Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition a proclamation declaring April as Alcohol Awareness Month.
    The Village Board and Mayor Paul Maute cited several statistics as reasons for taking the action, including youths beginning drinking, on average, at the age of 13.1 and about 100,000 people dying each year from alcohol-related causes, including drinking and driving.
   "Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21," the proclamation states.
   Several members of the Lancaster-Depew Coalition accepted the decree, including Anne Monin, director of the Lancaster Family Support Center; James LiPuma, director of pupil personnel services for the Depew School District; Jim Formato, School Resource Officer for the Lancaster Central School District; and Sgt. Justin Chernogorec, civil operations specialist with the New York National Guard.
   Founded in 2007, the mission of the coalition is to prevent youth substance abuse by addressing risk factors that lead to abuse while promoting healthy choices.
   The Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, which also is featured in the proclamation, has been a partner in the coalition's drive to reduce the instances of youths turning to alcohol and other drugs. Sally Yageric, parent program coordinator for ECCPASA, said the proclamations is important because it highlights the issues that alcohol dependency creates, including increased risk of liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression and several types of cancer.
   "The more people we can educate, the more seriously people will take the power of alcohol," she said.
   April also is National Alcohol Awareness Month. Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has offered varying themes, including this year's "Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow." According to the NCADD and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2.4 million adolescents across the country have an alcohol or drug problem.
   O'Brien, who serves as liaison between the Village Board and coalition, stressed addressing the issue at the local level to create a healthier community.
   "The children of our community are our future growth potential," he said. "We support the coalition."

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