Renz Center supports Alcohol Awareness Month, offers free assessments

Submitted by Lysette Pullman
Updated 3/20/2018 5:20 PM
  • As part of Alcohol Awareness Month in April, the Renz Center is offering free assessments to help parents determine if teen alcohol abuse is a problem.

    As part of Alcohol Awareness Month in April, the Renz Center is offering free assessments to help parents determine if teen alcohol abuse is a problem. AP File Photo

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and this year's theme, "Changing Attitudes: It's Not a 'Right of Passage'," is a national grassroots effort to draw attention to the many opportunities individuals, families, and communities have to educate young people on the dangers of alcohol use.

"Kids drink for a lot of reasons, many times due to social pressure and the need to fit in with their peers," said Renz Addiction Counseling Center's Executive Director Jerry Skogmo. "This puts them at greater risk for developing alcohol-related problems later in life. During Alcohol Awareness Month I would encourage parents to take an active role in talking to their kids, and teaching them about the dangers of alcohol use."

Throughout April, Renz Addiction Counseling Center is offering free assessments to help parents determine if alcohol abuse is a problem. Teen and adult assessment appointments are available at the Center's Elgin and St. Charles locations by calling (847) 742-3545.

To help kick off Alcohol Awareness Month, Renz Center is encouraging residents to participate in a community-wide three-day Alcohol-Free Weekend on March 30-April 1.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence created the Alcohol-Free Weekend to help raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting families, individuals, schools, businesses and the community.

"If omitting alcohol over 72 hours is difficult or uncomfortable," said Skogmo, "then I would encourage you to complete an alcohol assessment. They are free, and available by appointment."

According to the NCADD, "Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems. More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol."

Warning signs of alcohol abuse include:

• Drinking to calm nerves, forget worries or boost a sad mood;

• Guilt about drinking;

• Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking;

• Lying about or hiding drinking habits;

• Causing harm to oneself or someone else as a result of drinking;

• Needing to drink increasingly greater amounts in order to achieve desired effects;

• Feeling irritable, resentful or unreasonable when not drinking;

• Medical, social, family or financial problems caused by drinking.

Renz Center provides a continuum of care dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors related to alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Services range from prevention programs for youth in the schools to outpatient treatment programs for adolescents and adults. Priority is given to pregnant women and women with dependent children. Offices are located in Elgin, St. Charles, and Streamwood.

Renz Addiction Counseling Center is licensed by the state of Illinois for its adult and adolescent outpatient treatment programs. Renz Center is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the federal government, Fox Valley United Way, Elgin Township, Illinois Department of Human Services, Hanover Township, Geneva, and St. Charles 708 mental health boards and other local community organizations. To find out more about Renz Center's programs, call (847) 742-3545 or visit

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