The Community Coalition of Forest County is excited to announce it is sponsoring a 2020 Prevention Poster Contest. The theme of the poster contest is “What a Healthy Forest County Looks Like” and is open to all Forest County youth ages 5-18.
Due to the generosity of our Coalition partners, cash prizes will be awarded to youth in four communities: Armstrong Creek, Crandon, Laona and Wabeno. Entries need to be submitted online. If you need assistance submitting the artwork online, please contact Michelle Gobert at 715-478-5908.
When our lives are turned upside down, a to-do list can bring a sense of calm and control. University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Specialists and Educators have created Stay at Home Tips on topics ranging from parenting a teen grieving with the loss of school activities, to connecting with isolated family and friends.
Why should you talk to kids about alcohol? Underage drinking is a real problem in Wisconsin, and it starts earlier and can be more dangerous than you might think. But parents, loved ones, and other caring adults can make a real difference. All you have to do is talk. That’s right. Having small, casual conversations with kids, starting around age eight, can help prevent underage drinking.
Know the consequences
There’s a reason the legal drinking age is 21. It’s to keep our children healthy and safe. When youth drink alcohol, they can damage and even block the development of healthy mental pathways in the brain that shape how kids feel, learn, behave, and grow. Damage like that can have lifelong physical, social, and emotional consequences.
Alcohol affects young people more powerfully than it does adults, and drinking before the brain and body are fully developed can have dangerous effects.
Underage drinking can change the way the brain develops and functions.
Alcohol can shut down new brain cell growth.
Drinking can damage the parts of the brain responsible for learning, memory, and self-control.
Alcohol can alter a child’s motor skills.
High levels of alcohol in the body can shut down those parts of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, and body temperature.
Heavy alcohol use can increase the risk of liver disease, heart disease, and seven different cancers later in life.
Young Drinkers Can Take Costly Risks
Underage drinking has serious consequences for a young person’s life, affecting everything from their behavior and relationships to their long-term health.
17% of kids who drink have been in a car with a driver who’d been drinking alcohol.
There’s always a risk that substance use may lead to addiction.
Drinking can lead to issues at school, with friends, and with the law.
In the U.S., alcohol landed 119,000 underage drinkers in emergency rooms in 2013 alone.
Underage drinking is associated with a higher risk of physical and sexual assault.
Alcohol is linked to mental health problems
As young people transition from childhood to adolescence, they experience dramatic social and emotional changes. Adding alcohol to the mix can be devastating.
Underage drinking often goes hand-in-hand with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Each year, about 300 young people die in alcohol-related suicides.
Research shows that waiting to start drinking alcohol is one of the most effective ways to prevent the development of a substance use disorder later in life.
Underage alcohol use is associated with youth who struggle with mental illness.
Most underage Drinking is binge drinking
Loosely defined as having four or five drinks in just two hours, binge drinking is especially dangerous for children.
Around 90% of underage drinking is binge drinking.
Because most underage drinking is binge drinking, young people are more likely to experience alcohol poisoning.
Youth don’t drink as often as adults do, but when they have access to alcohol, they usually drink more than an adult would.
Binge drinking lowers inhibitions at a time when young people are already eager to take risks.
Small Talks: Start Talking, It Makes a Difference
Think kids won’t listen? Think again. Research shows that parents and other caring adults are the most powerful influence on children’s choices about underage drinking. That means you can make a real difference, especially if you start early. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you may think. We can show you how.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing and self-quarantine are needed to limit and control the spread of the disease, continued social connectedness to maintain recovery is critically important.
Locally, in Forest County, if anyone is needing an AA meeting, the mnogishget group of Alcoholics Anonymous is an open meeting. We meet Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday nights at 7pm on Zoom. If you have any questions, please contact Donald Keeble at 715-889-6709 or through his Facebook page for the meeting ID.
Office of Children’s Mental Health Director Linda Hall today announces the publication of a new fact sheet detailing how to support our children’s well-being through preventing underage drinking. While youth in Wisconsin are drinking less, they are still drinking more than youth in other states. Peer pressure, the ease in which youth can obtain alcohol, as well as advertising in the community may encourage unhealthy drinking behaviors. Highlights include: • Using alcohol at an early age can lead to negative health outcomes that in turn can lead to, or worsen, symptoms of depression and anxiety. • Youth tend to binge drink more than adults, which can interfere with normal brain development. • In Wisconsin, only 36% of kids think it’s risky for them to have 5 or more drinks a couple times a week. • Having short, frequent, casual conversations with young children and throughout adolescence is one of the best interventions for parents to prevent underage drinking. See the complete fact sheet
TIPS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING, QUARANTINE, AND ISOLATION DURING AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE OUTBREAK
This time of social isolation can be incredibly difficult for us and those we love. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) offers this excellent review of what to expect during this time and how to mitigate the stress of social isolation.