For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Barbara Ann Coleman, MA, Alcohol and Other Drugs Coordinator, Mental Health Administration, (510) 981-5218

ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH KICKS OFF IN BERKELEY
Events all over Berkeley give residents the opportunity to learn about the role of alcohol in their lives

Berkeley, California (Friday, April 04, 2008) - Residents are invited to learn about the effects of alcohol use and abuse during Berkeley's 5th annual recognition of April is Alcohol Awareness Month event, titled "Berkeley Alcohol Awareness Month: A Community Affair." 

Mayor Tom Bates kicked-off Alcohol Awareness Month on Friday, April 4, 2008 at City Hall by ringing the Peace Bell at noon and acknowledging a moment of silence in honor of alcohol-related tragedies. 

Alcohol Awareness Month has been sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence  (NCADD) each year since 1987 and is intended to encourage communities to focus on alcohol related problems.

"Each year, during Alcohol Awareness Month, the City takes time to reflect on the impact of alcohol use on our community," said Tom Gorham Clinical Director for Options Recovery Services in Berkeley, a partner organization in this effort. "We take time to educate youth, families and individuals about the consequences of alcohol use. There is a united effort to inform people where to obtain counseling and treatment if they need it. We also acknowledge and celebrate successful individual recovery from alcohol abuse and collaborative community efforts to address problems associated with alcohol."

Other events include:

Alcoholism affects a broad circle of people connected to the alcoholic: relatives, friends, neighbors, employers, co-workers, classmates, teachers, doctors, community workers, and it is closely linked to many of America's most complicated social problems, including illness, homelessness, teen pregnancy, crime, domestic violence, and other negative consequences.

For more information on local Alcohol Awareness Month activities contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health Division at (510) 981-5218 or visit the University's website at http://alcoholaware.berkeley.edu/.

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