Health Division announces infographic/poster contest for students

In honor of National Public Health Week and Alcohol Awareness Month, Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) is hosting an infographic/poster contest and inviting high school students to creatively convey the consequences and impacts of binge drinking on youth and teens. Students have a chance to win a $100, $50, or $25 iTunes gift card and will receive community service hours.

"We have many creative students in Oakland County," said Kathy Forzley, OCHD manager/health officer. "We want to tap into their imagination to explain in a simple, visual way why binge drinking is unsafe for everyone, especially youth and teens."

The contest winner will be chosen by OCHD's Public Health Oakland Facebook fans. They will vote by liking their favorite entry on Facebook from April 28th through May 4th. Winners will be announced on May 5. The contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. April 27. The contest is open to all Oakland County high school students. For contest rules, visit the Health Division website at www.oakgov.com/health or find them on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC.

"Binge drinking among youth tends to increase during celebratory times like spring break, prom, and graduation," said Forzley. "We are hoping this contest will get students to think twice about underage binge drinking during these times."

Students' entries should educate about binge drinking, which is when someone drinks a large amount of alcohol in a short period (about 2 hours). Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive alcohol use, is defined as consuming 4 or more drinks during a single occasion for women and 5 or more drinks for men. A drink is defined as 5-ounces of wine, 12-ounces of regular beer or wine cooler, 8-ounces of malt liquor, 1.5-ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (i.e. gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).

Binge drinking is very common among youth. About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth is in the form of binge drinking, and that contributes to more than 4,300 deaths among youth under the age of 21 years in the United States each year. About 2 in 3 high school students who drink do so to the point of intoxication, and about 1 in 5 high school girls binge drink.

Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared National Public Health Week, communities across the United States have observed National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. Each year, National Public Health Week focuses its effort on a different theme. This year's theme is "Public Health: Start Here." The 2014 theme presents an opportunity for public health and clinical health professionals to engage with individuals and communities to help them navigate the changing world of public health.

National Public Health Week runs April 7-13. For additional information, visit www.nphw.org.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) Alcohol Awareness Month, held every April, was founded by and has been sponsored by NCADD since 1987 to increase public awareness and understanding aimed at reducing the stigma associated with alcoholism that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help. For the 27th Anniversary of NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month, NCADD has chosen the theme "Help for Today. Hope For Tomorrow." The theme is designed to draw attention to the pervasive impact that alcohol, alcohol-related problems and alcoholism have on young people, on their friends, on families and in communities. For additional information, visit www.ncadd.org.

Published: Wed, Apr 9, 2014

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