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Ponta Delgada ,  May 13, 2019

Prevention of alcohol consumption among young people can reduce cancer and mental illnesses, says Regional Director

The Regional Director for Prevention and Control of Dependencies defended in Ponta Delgada that the prevention of alcohol consumption among young people will have a medium and long-term impact on reducing the prevalence of oncological and mental diseases, while contributing to the decrease of alcohol-related accidents.
"Scientific evidence shows that early consumption and harmful alcohol consumption are interlinked with the main causes of death, namely cardiovascular and oncological diseases, accidents, suicides, liver cirrhosis, hence the importance of focusing prevention on children and young people," said Suzete Frias. The government official on the sidelines of a training course for professionals working at the support centre for children and youth at risk of São Miguel Health Unit.
This training arises from the amendment to the Legal Scheme on the Sale and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages, which increased the legal minimum age for the sale and consumption of alcohol in the Azores from 16 to 18 years.
The legislation provides that, in situations of underage drinking in public places, minors and their legal guardians are required to attend awareness-raising sessions on the effects of alcohol.
"The measure is innovative in the national context and contributes to increasing parents' literacy about the problems arising from alcohol abuse, while raising their awareness for the importance of supervising and monitoring the emotional life and relational contexts of minors," defended Suzete Frias.
The training course, which began on Santa Maria Island, covers more than 40 professionals from the support centres for children and youth at risk (NCJR) of the archipelago. It aims to prepare professionals to provide training to the legal guardians of minors so that may become aware of the impact of early alcohol consumption.
"If we think that 86% of chronic diseases could be avoided by simply changing risk behaviours, according to data from the General-Directorate of Health, the reduction of alcohol consumption will have direct impacts on Public Health," said the Regional Director.
Suzete Frias also recalled the opinion issued by the Committee of the Regions on February 9, 2017 under the title "Needs and guidelines for an EU alcohol strategy," which calls for strong political leadership to protect children and young people from alcohol-related problems.
"The link between alcohol and road fatalities is not overemphasised when the indicators show that the first cause of death among young people is due to road accidents: about one in three people involved in road accidents has a blood alcohol content higher than 0.5 g/litre," stated the government official.
According to the Regional Director, the training provided to professionals working at NCJR has a wide scope, being expected to reach family and community contexts.
The promotion of individual protection in drinking situations, the promotion of healthy living habits and the promotion of personal, social and parental skills are some of the goals of this initiative.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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