Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has officially recognized April as Alcohol Awareness Month in the state.
In issuing a proclamation, the governor emphasized the need to increase public awareness and understanding about the dangers associated with alcohol misuse.
“We are grateful for Governor Northam’s recognition of April as Alcohol Awareness Month,” says Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “The authority welcomes the opportunity to highlight its work to address the dangers associated with the misuse of alcohol and build the capacity of communities throughout Virginia to encourage a responsible approach when it comes to consumption of alcoholic beverages.”
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a marked increase in alcohol consumption. The American Medical Association found that drinking alcoholic beverages increased by 14% from 2019 to 2020 in a national survey addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of its mission, ABC has developed a variety of programs, resources and toolkits for adults and youth to address alcohol misuse and encourage responsible behaviors. Educational programs for elementary to college-age youth target prevention efforts and community partnerships, which are critical to helping communities combat underage drinking.
The governor’s proclamation cites a recent Virginia Youth Survey which found that “more than 15% of students in Virginia reported having their first full drink of alcohol before age 13, and more than 25% of Virginia high school students had at least one drink of alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days.”
Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has recognized April as Alcohol Awareness Month.
Throughout April, Virginia ABC will share information about the dangers of alcohol misuse and encourage responsible consumption on its website and social media platforms. ABC has also partnered with CommonHealth, Virginia’s employee wellness program, to provide Alcohol Awareness Month information via their member newsletter and magazine.
For more information about Virginia ABC’s education and prevention resources and programs, visit abc.virginia.gov/education.