MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION
A person only has to watch television or read a magazine to see many advertisements targeted at the promotion of responsible drinking or encouraging parents to be an “antidrug” for their children. Increasing public awareness and educational advertising have not made any significant change in the rates of substance abuse in the United States (NIAAA, 2007c). Two populations currently identified for prevention programs are older adults and college-aged adults.
Late-onset alcoholism in older adults is usually milder and more amenable to treatment, yet health care profes-sionals overlook it more frequently. Culbertson (2006) suggested use of a screening tool, such as the AUDIT, in all primary care settings to promote early identification of older adults with alcoholism. Brief interventions have been effective in producing sustained abstinence or reduced lev-els of alcohol consumption, thereby decreasing hazardous and harmful drinking in this population.
The College Drinking Prevention Program, which is government sponsored, is a response to some of the fol-lowing statistics about college students between ages 18 and 24 (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2007).
1,700 students die annually from alcohol-related unin-tentional injuries.
· 599,000 students are unintentionally injured while under the influence of alcohol.
· 606,000 students are assaulted by another student under the influence of alcohol.
· 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related assault or date rape.
· One-third of first-year students fail to enroll for their second year.
This prevention program was designed to help college students avoid the “predictable” or expected binge drink-ing common at U.S. colleges and universities. Some cam-puses offer alcohol and drug-free dormitories for students, and some college-wide activities no longer allow alcohol to be served. Educational programs (about the previous statistics) are designed to raise student awareness about excessive drinking. Students who wish to abstain from alcohol are encouraged to socialize together and provide support to one another for this lifestyle choice.