The Spalding County Board of Commissioners proclaimed Oct. 26-31, 2015 as Red Ribbon Week.
The proclamation was presented to Spalding Collaborative Youth Advisory Council members at Monday’s meeting. The Youth Advisory Council invited all residents to participate in Red Ribbon Week. YAC is a circle of support for teens to be positive leaders in their community.
In the proclamation, the commissioners encouraged parents, caregivers and all residents “to prevent underage alcohol use by talking to youth about the harmful effects and consequences; and how they can resist pressure to get involved in the use of alcohol.”
The proclamation cited information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that alcohol use by persons under 21 “is a major public health problem;” and information from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that “underage alcohol use is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined,” and “alcohol consumption during adolescence and young adulthood may have profound effects on brain structure and function, heavy drinking may impair brain growth and functions such as blood flow to certain regions of the brain and electrical brain activities.”
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous — both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traft1c fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdoes, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors.”
The proclamation also cited the 2014 Georgia Student Health Survey, wherein 14.5 percent of Spalding County students report using alcohol within the last 30 days and the average age of first alcohol use in Spalding County is 12-years old. And it was noted “youth, with care and support from family, friends, health professionals, teachers, clergy and others, can avoid the negative effects of alcohol and drugs.”