PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: April is Alcohol Awareness and Minority Health month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a tradition that began 26 years ago to increase public awareness and understanding aimed at reducing the stigma that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help. The goal of this celebration is to bring public information about alcohol and alcoholism as a chronic, progressive disease; fatal if untreated and genetically predisposed to all communities. The disease of alcoholism is a family disease that is treatable, not a moral weakness, from which people can and do recover.

This year through funding by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Office of Prevention Services and Programs, CETPA will be celebrating Alcohol Awareness Month throughout the state of Georgia through media campaigns and town hall meetings.

CETPA is Georgia's only Latino Behavioral Health Agency. CETPA is the first, and still only, Latino agency to earn a Drug Abuse Treatment License by the state of Georgia and national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to provide integrated outpatient behavioral health treatment and prevention services in Georgia in English and/or Spanish. CETPA has a Prevention branch, an Intervention branch and a Treatment branch. www.cetpa.org

For more information about our Alcohol Awareness initiatives please contact our Project Director Diana Rosado at drosado@cetpa.org or our Program Coordinator, Diana Plazas at dplazas@cetpa.org. To learn more about Georgia initiatives you can visit http://www.didyouknowfacts.net/ and to find out about national events you can visit https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov

April is also National Minority Health Month dedicated to advancing health equity on behalf of racial and ethnic minorities. I invite you to celebrate and support the work being done to reduce health disparities in the United States.

Historically, Latinos have faced significant barriers to accessing affordable health insurance and these barriers have contributed to significant health disparities.

• Thirty-two percent of Latinos were uninsured in 2009 – higher than any other racial or ethnic group – and half of Latinos did not have a regular doctor, compared with only one-fifth of white Americans.

• Twenty percent of low-income Latino youth have gone a year without a health care visit – a rate three times higher than that for high-income whites

• Latinos were diagnosed with AIDS at three times the rate of whites.

• In 2006, almost half of Latinos reported they did not always get care when they needed it, compared with 43 percent of blacks and 41 percent of white Americans.

Pierluigi Mancini, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of CETPA, Inc. 6020 Dawson Blvd, Suite I, Norcross, GA 30093 * 770-662-0249 * www.cetpa.org

People Helping People is a publication of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services. For more information contact Ellen Gerstein - ellen@gwinnettcoalition.org or at 770-995-3339.