CSU, Chico News

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Addressed in Talk

Date: 11-05-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

A nationally recognized expert on alcohol abuse and how it impacts mental health will be giving a free talk at California State University, Chico’s Laxson Auditorium tomorrow, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m.

Ross Szabo, director of youth outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, will be giving an address titled, “Mixed Drinks, Mixed Emotions: Alcohol Abuse and Mental Health.”

A focus of his talk will be how alcohol is used by young people to mask other problems. Szabo will report that two-thirds of young people who abuse alcohol or other drugs also have a mental health issue.

Szabo was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 16 and, after hospitalization and a medical leave of absence, graduated cum laude from American University in 2002. Alcohol abuse was one way he tried to self-medicate and unsuccessfully deal with his underlying mental health condition.

Szabo is a frequent speaker on college campuses and at mental health conferences. He has been interviewed by CNN, CBS and MTV and featured in Seventeen and Parade magazines.

The talk is open to the public. For more information, contact CSU, Chico’s Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC) at 898-6450.