Minnesota Organizations Fighting Growing Alcoholism Rates
UNDATED -- Eighty-eight thousand people die from alcohol related causes a year in the United States, over 30,000 more than deaths from drug overdoses.
A recently published study found that one in eight Americans fit the clinical definition of "alcohol use disorder" or alcoholism. The same study also says almost one in four adults under 30 fit the bill as well.
Paul Anderson is the Director of the Dan Anderson Renewal Center for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. He says the numbers the study put out may not be that high in Minnesota, but they've seen a rise of several percent in admissions to their programs.
"You could [then] make the assumption or assertion that alcoholism rates or people encountering difficulty with alcohol is increasing."
He adds, Hazelden Betty Ford is always trying to stay ahead of the problem, by starting the education process young.
"Our publishing [arm] publishes a great deal of literature in terms of prevention [and also] curriculum for schools."
Another arm of Hazelden's efforts to fight the problem of alcohol addiction is an upcoming event centered around recovering Veterans. That event will be from November 14th through the 16th, and is free for vets to attend and stay.
Local groups are trying to fight the problems as well.
John Donovan is the Communications Director for the St. Cloud Alano Club. He says the Alano Club tries to help fix the issue of alcoholism, by making sure the different support groups get information to as many people as possible.
"We help the groups publicize their events. Open meetings, workshops and things of that nature, some of those are specific to those suffering from the disease of alcoholism. However, some of those are for the public, to come and inform themselves about alcoholism and recovery therefrom."
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis declared September 15th St. Cloud's official "Recovery Day". In his proclamation Mayor Kleis encourages everyone in St. Cloud to celebrate the individuals and institutions that make recovery possible.
Both Donovan and Anderson say that fighting the stigma around alcoholism, and addiction in general is the best way for the community as a whole to help end both problems.