Safe for the Holidays
For many people, the holidays are a time of festive parties, family get-togethers and special time with friends. Alcohol is a frequent part of these celebrations. The daily death toll from alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes during the Christmas and New Years holiday period is significantly higher than during the rest of the year. So it’s critical to be aware of the risks that go along with drinking and make plans to address them responsibly.
In the U.S. three people are killed in alcohol-related highway crashes every hour. In Texas, someone is hurt or killed about every 20 minutes in a crash involving alcohol. The consequences of drinking and driving are arrests, property damage, injuries, and thousands of deaths each year. An estimated 4 million U.S. adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year, yielding an estimated 112 million alcohol-impaired driving episodes. (U.S. Dept. of Transportation)
Impairment begins with the first drink. Your gender, body weight, the number of drinks you’ve consumed and the amount of food you’ve eaten affect your body’s ability to handle alcohol. As little as two beers in an hour can make some people legally intoxicated. And, even though you may not be legally intoxicated, any amount of alcohol can lead to impairment, even if you may not feel “buzzed.”
Here’s what you can do to make sure that you, your family members and your friends stay safe:
Don’t drink and drive. Ever.
Had a drink or two? The smartest and safest thing is not to drive at all.
Take a turn as the designated driver.
A designated driver is the person who hasn’t had anything to drink at all, not the one who is least drunk.
The time to think about how you’ll get home after you’ve consumed alcohol is before the drinking begins.
Talk to your friends and family.
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
Power of Prevention Breakfast
Visit from SAMHSA
On February 15, the Council was honored to receive a personal visit from Pamela Hyde,
Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
SAMHSA is the top mental health/substance abuse agency under the U.S. Department of
Health & Human Services (HHS). Ms. Hyde was joined by Michael Duffy, Regional SAMHSA
Administrator, and Marjorie Petty, Regional HHS Director. Council Executive Director-Debbie
Meripolski, Director of Prevention Programs-Stacey Davis, and Director of HIV Programs-Sonny
Blake, met with our esteemed guests over lunch and enjoyed the opportunity to tell them about
the Council’s rich history and extensive network of prevention and intervention activities. After
a tour of the Council offices, Sonny and Debbie joined our guests for a community roundtable
discussion at The Resource Center of Dallas. The Council is fortunate to have a five-year Drug
Free Communities Support Program grant provided by SAMHSA.
The Council is often a pioneer and forerunner in the substance abuse field for the state and
country. The Council recognized addiction as a disease eight years before the American Medical
Association. The Council helped establish and provided the inaugural leadership for the Texas
Commission on Alcoholism (now the Texas Department of State Health Services, Mental Health
and Substance Abuse Services).
Over the decades, The Council has responded to increasing community needs, focusing on
larger target populations and widening the scope of collaborative, evidence-based initiatives and
services. The work has received accolades and awards, coverage by national publications, and
inclusion in the Congressional Record. But most importantly, since opening its doors in 1946,
millions of North Texans have been reached, changed and/or saved.
The Council trained or provided direct services to 29,686 people in 2012 and provided
resources/materials for another 121,197 people. In addition to the more than 150,000
individuals touched directly, The Council reaches many thousands more in two ways: 1) Public
awareness campaigns in the form of public service announcements, press conferences,
billboards, community events, press conferences and media coverage, and 2) Education of
teachers, counselors, first-responders and parents, who pass on their skills and knowledge to
Power of Prevention Breakfast
Most successful event to date!
The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse's annual Power of Prevention Breakfast was held on October 8, 2013. Approximately
300 individuals attended the Breakfast, which benefits youth programs sponsored by the Council.
This year's event raised more funds than ever before! The Council would like to thank Debbie Knauss (featured speaker),
Scott Murray (emcee), Jan Showers (honorary chair), the award winners, the event sponsors, auction item donors, and
planning committee members for the part they played in its success.
Click here for more info.
Award Winners: Judge John Cruezot, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, and Doug Denton with Homeward Bound, Inc.
Brandon, Debbie (featured speaker), and Doug Knauss at the Council's Patron Party leading up to the breakfast event
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