Alcohol is not a ‘Rite of Passage.’ Sieda Prevention and Substance Abuse Educators along with Sieda and Sieda’s Behavioral Health and Treatment Services want to raise mindfulness about the dangers of alcohol. Sieda Community Action encourages the communities we serve to raise awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting families, individuals, schools, businesses, and communities.  It is estimated that 20 million individuals and family members are living lives in recovery.

Facts About Alcohol: 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use.

The summer is a good time to revisit expectations for youth, adults, and alcohol use.  Changing our attitudes on alcohol and that it is not a ‘Rite of Passage’ is the first step to educating young people about the dangers of alcohol use.  We can sit back and hope kids will “get through it,” or we can change our attitude and take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and help young people do the same.

Facts About Alcohol: Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation.

Some parents and community members believe that all teens drink and all of them will be fine and not suffer any consequences from use.  However, youth alcohol use leads to potential problems such as violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose and increased risk for developing alcoholism later in life.  As adults, we can passively hope teens will “get through this phase” of drinking alcohol, or we can take an active role in teaching teens the dangers.  Research shows youth who have conversations with their parents about the dangers of alcohol and drugs are 50% less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations.

Adults can:

–  Help youth develop positive interests. Avoid situations that might tempt or pressure them to drink.

–  Show teens that their opinions and decisions matter. To be strong and confident in their decision not to drink.

–  Help youth develop healthy and responsible attitudes. Raise awareness about alcohol dangers.

–  Encourage supportive relationships. To surround themselves with like-minded friends that will support one another.

–  Support talking openly and honestly.  Open communication on the stresses in their lives.

As an influential adult, take the opportunity to pass on reliable information.  If we don’t, then the media, internet or other sources will glorify alcohol use.

Alcohol Facts of the Counties in Sieda’s Main Service Area:

In 2016 percentage of adults and youth that reported binge or heavy drinking in a 30 day period.

1 – County Health Rankings & Roadmaps – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
2 – 2016 County Youth Survey Reports – Iowa Department of Public Health
Facts About Alcohol: