April, 2014: Alcohol Awareness Month

WHEREAS, each year, youth violence, traffic crashes, property crime, and medical treatment due to underage alcohol use costs the state of Michigan $2 billion; and,

WHEREAS, adolescence is an extremely critical and often vulnerable stage of human development, and unfortunately it is during this time that many youths experiment with substances such as alcohol; and,

WHEREAS, recent data reveals that 64 percent of Michigan’s high school students report consuming at least one drink of alcohol; in addition, compared to those who wait until they are 21 to drink, young people who start drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent, seven times more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash because of drinking and 11 times more likely to be in a physical fight after drinking; and,

WHEREAS, youth exposure to alcohol advertising and marketing increases the likelihood that young people will start drinking, or that they will drink more if they are already consuming alcohol; and,

WHEREAS, in 2012, there were 785 motor vehicle crashes in which the driver aged 16-20 years old had been drinking and there were 13 alcohol-involved fatalities among drivers 16 to 20; and,

WHEREAS, in 2014, MADD will kick off “21 Days in Support of 21,” beginning on April 1 and culminating on PowerTalk 21 on April 21, in order to create a sustained and prolonged national conversation about underage drinking; and,

WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Office of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to ask that parents, youths, government agencies, public and private institutions, business, workplaces, and all Michigan citizens support the efforts to reduce and prevent underage drinking in our state by limiting alcohol availability to minors;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2014 as Alcohol Awareness Month in Michigan.