CONTACT Julie Naughton, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-1695 (office); (402) 405-7202 (cell); email@example.com
Note: There is a Facebook Live on this topic Friday, Jan. 25, 2-2:30 pm CST at https://www.facebook.com/NEDHHS/
Lincoln – While alcohol use by Nebraska high school students has dropped from 53.4 percent in 1991 to 24.4 percent in 2017, the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is aiming to cut that number even more. During National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week - Tuesday, January 22 through Sunday, January 27 – the Division will highlight prevention, recovery and educational efforts, including a Facebook Live event with Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at DHHS.
The aim of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse is to link teenagers and young adults with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from peers.
The perceptions Nebraska teenagers and young adults have about drinking are often mistaken, Dawson noted. “In 2016, young adults believed that half (49.7 percent) of their peers binge drank alcohol in the past 30 days, which is higher than the percentage that actually binge drank (37.4 percent)," said Dawson. “In addition, young adults believed that nearly one in three (30.5 percent) of their peers drove after binge drinking in the past 30 days, which is much higher than the percentage who reported driving after binge drinking (4.3 percent)."
Alcohol use, especially binge and heavy drinking, is still the most prevalent substance use concern in Nebraska. While there is some cause for optimism - high school binge drinking dropped from 36.9 percent in 1991 to 24.4 percent in 2017 – 37.4 percent of young adults from 19 to 25 years of age reported binge drinking at least once in the past month, a number Dawson is actively working to decrease and a topic she will address during her Facebook Live event on Friday, January 25, from 2 pm to 2:30 pm CST at https://www.facebook.com/NEDHHS/. As well, the National Institutes of Health will hold its 10th annual Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day on Thursday, January 24, from 8 am EST to 6 pm EST. To register, visit https://www.nidachat.org/register.aspx
The Division of Behavioral Health has just been awarded a new five-year PFS (Partnerships for Success) grant from SAMHSA, which will provide $1.9 million per year to be used for prevention and treatment programming. This funding targets youth ages 9 to 20 and aims at decreasing underage and binge drinking, as well as reducing the onset or progression of marijuana use. While some activities from the Division's previous five-year grant are being continued or sustained, new programs or initiatives within behavioral health regions will soon be implemented, including: