Don't Let Alcohol Call the Shots: Know the Consequences of Underage and Binge Drinking


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The Worcester County Underage and Binge Drinking Awareness Task Force is launching a public awareness campaign to focus on reducing the instances of  underage and binge drinking among youth and young adults in our county.  According to the CDC, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States.  Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.  



Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. More than half of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.  According to the 2013 Youth Behavior Risk Survey, 2 out of every 5 Worcester County High School students have had at least one drink of alcohol in the last 30 days, and 1 in 5 have reported drinking 5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row.   

 

Consequences of Underage Drinking
 
Youth who drink alcohol 1,5,10 are more likely to experience-
 
• School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
• Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
• Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
• Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
• Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
• Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
• Physical and sexual assault.
• Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
• Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries,
        such as burns, falls, and drowning.
• Memory problems.
• Abuse of other drugs.
• Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
• Death from alcohol poisoning.
 
In general, the risk of youth experiencing these problems is greater for those who binge drink than for those who do not binge drink.

Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are six times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years.
 
Consequences of Binge Drinking
 
Binge drinking is associated with many health problems, including-
 
• Unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning)
• Intentional injuries (e.g., firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence)
• Alcohol poisoning
• Sexually transmitted diseases
• Unintended pregnancy
• Children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
• High blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases
• Liver disease
• Neurological damage
• Sexual dysfunction, and
• Poor control of diabetes.

For more information, call the Worcester County Health Department's Prevention Program at 410.632.0056.

To learn more about how to talk to your kids about making smart choices, visit: http://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking


To learn more about binge drinking, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/BingeDrinking/index.html


 
 

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Zika Information

 

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WCHD News

 

SNOW HILL, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department urges all residents age 6 months and older, including pregnant women and those with medical conditions, to be vaccinated for the 2018-2019 seasonal flu. People age 65 years and older have a choice of two flu vaccines available to them at the Worcester County Health Department. They can choose to receive a regular flu vaccine or a high dose flu vaccine which may result in a stronger immune response against the flu.

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Due to ongoing construction issues, the WACS Center will be closed through October 19 and move services to other locations. The center is scheduled to reopen on Monday, October 22nd.

All services at this site have been relocated to either Snow Hill or the Berlin Health Center. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information or to check on the status of your appointment, please call 410-632-1100.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

This bacterium is found in the nose, throat and mouth of an infected person, and can be easily spread. Pertussis can occur at any age, but often causes serious problems in babies, and is usually milder in older children and adults. Children who are too young to be fully vaccinated and those that have not received all their vaccinations are at highest risk for severe illness and complications. Complications of pertussis can include pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and other physical and medical outcomes associated with a severe cough.

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Our new Just Walk Worcester website has information on local parks, walking tips, and videos of trails in our area. If you like to walk, check it out! Click the image below to see the new site. 

 

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Snow Hill, MD- Worcester County Health Department will launch “Just Walk Worcester” on October 12. This new website will be an inclusive resource for finding places to walk and explore no matter where you are in the county. The site features maps of all local parks and trails as well as walking tips, helpful videos, and details about each area including the length of trails, if there are any fees and if the spot is pet-friendly. Residents can view drone footage of each trail, allowing walkers to know the ins and outs of the path before they even lace up their shoes.

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