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Underage drinking is a problem in every State. Law enforcement officials must be vigilant in enforcing the laws when this occurs. State law enforcement officials in Vermont recently did just that, when they were called to break up an underage drinking party. A number of citations were issued, including one to an adult who was discovered to have either provided or made available by other means the alcohol that was being consumed by the underage drinkers.
For this reason, it is important that parents, guardians, and other adults who have contact with those whom Vermont considers too young to drink support law enforcement officials in their efforts to curb underage drinking in this State. Adults can do their part by making sure that alcoholic beverages are kept away from underage drinkers, by not allowing their children to be in places or at gatherings where underage drinking is happening, and by controlling their alcohol use themselves.
Further, adults who do drink can make it clear to other adults that they will not provide alcohol to underage persons, and will themselves take appropriate actions if other adults do so. It may cost a person a friend or two, but it may save a young person's life, or at the very least stop an alcohol addiction before it stops.
Young people have responsibilities also when it comes to underage drinking. They can immediately leave a place where this is occurring, by calling a responsible adult or asking one that is available to take them home if they are not old enough to drive. Those who are old enough to drive can immediately leave, after offering to take anyone else who wants to do the right thing home also.
If a young person does not want to contact law enforcement officials, then a responsible adult has ways of finding out where underage drinking is happening and making the call. Calls to law enforcement officials can remain anonymous, so no one has to know where or from whom the call originated.
Alcohol consumption by anyone can be abused, as statistics from a recent survey of 7,047 Vermont residents revealed. 2,977 residents admitted to alcohol use, and 5.2% of those between the ages of 12 and 17 told survey officials that they had already sought substance abuse admission for alcohol addiction.
If it is unfortunately too late to stop an alcohol addiction in a person, no matter what the age, Vermont adults can be thankful that there are alcohol addiction treatment centers that can help with that problem. These centers accept those who are suffering from alcohol addiction, and assist them in regaining a way of life that does not involve alcohol.
Recently, a number of treatment centers have begun using certain medications to help treat alcohol addiction. These medications include Campral (acamprosate), Antabuse (disulfiram), and other similar medications. Some of these work to help control the cravings and urges that those with alcohol addiction may have, especially in the first few weeks of alcohol cessation and treatment, while others actually cause a physical reaction (and a not very pleasant one at that) if alcohol is consumed while the medication is being taken. All of them, used in conjunction with individual and group counseling as well as support groups such as AA or other similar programs, can help in the treatment of alcohol addiction.
Many adults have found that using medication along with the other aspects of a rehab program have proven very successful. In fact, many of them said that what made alcohol addiction so hard to overcome was the constant want or need for a drink, and the medication used did help diminish those feelings, at least enough to where the person was not constantly thinking about alcohol.
It may not be possible to use medications when treating young people; however, treatment programs can still help them overcome their alcohol addiction. The sooner treatment begins, for adults and young people alike, the sooner positive results will be seen.
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