Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma, and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. The Ocean County Health Department supports these efforts and seeks to inform the residents of Ocean County about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the Ocean County Board ofHealth, urges residents to embrace this year’s theme –“Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage’.” According to Freeholder Director Little, “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 affairs.” Daniel E. Regenye, Public Health Coordinator for the Ocean County Health Department remarks that “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.” According to Mr. Regenye, “Adolescence is generally a time of increased risk-taking 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, D ire c tor of Administration and Program Development for the Ocean County Health Department adds “the Ocean County Health Department has multiple contracts throughout the area for residents with substance use disorders and alcohol related issues. Any resident looking for help can call 732-341-9700 x7538 for information