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WHEREAS, Alcohol Awareness Month is a national observance held every April to increase public awareness and understanding about the dangers associated with alcohol consumption; and
WHEREAS, alcohol consumption is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States; and
WHEREAS, a recent Virginia Youth Survey found that more than 15 percent of students in Virginia reported having their first full drink of alcohol before age 13 and more than 25 percent of Virginia high school students had a least one drink of alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days; and
WHERAS, a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted that more than 15 percent of adults in Virginia binge drink; and
WHEREAS, last year there were 6,369 alcohol related crashes resulting in 3,854 injuries and 269 fatalities in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, the American Medical Association found that alcohol consumption increased by 14 percent from 2019 to 2020 in a national survey addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, we must increase awareness of issues related to alcohol and promote public safety through the responsible sale and regulation of alcoholic beverages and provide resources for individuals and organizations to reduce underage and high-risk drinking; and
WHEREAS, alcohol education and prevention programming can help communities, families, and friends support the development of healthy relationships with alcohol;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2021 as ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.