Most young people ages 12 to 17 do not drink. However, in the latest survey (2014), about 2.9  million young people, or about 1 in 9 adolescents reported alcohol use during the past month.  This data is supported by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration).

Talk with young people early and often about the dangers of underage drinking. With your help, we can make sure young people understand that they do not need to drink to fit in, have fun, or deal with the pressures of growing up.   Educate teens by asking…  Did you know that most young people aged 12 to 20 do not drink?  Or, discuss with them that NOT drinking before age 21 is smart. Why? Because alcohol affects every organ in your body, including your brain. It can have a   negative effect on classroom success, on the sports field and damage your relationship with  friends and family.  Simply put, it’s not smart for lots of reasons.

Underage alcohol use increases the risk of academic failure, illicit drug use, and tobacco use.    It can lead to a range of physical consequences, from hangovers to death from alcohol poisoning, suicide, homicide, and traffic crashes. Annually, about 4,700 people under age 21 die from  injuries involving underage drinking.  Alcohol use can lead to depression and yes, suicidal thoughts and actions.  This isn’t the answer.  If you find you are in need of support, let us help you “Cont;nue Your Story”.  Call 497-9069 or text “start” to 741-741.

Youth in Butte-Silver Bow are hearing the message.  In February 2016 during the SAMHSA Prevention Day in Washington DC, Butte-Silver Bow County was nationally recognized for the  reduction of alcohol use among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students (grades surveyed through the Montana Prevention Needs Assessment – MPNA).  As a community we must continue to work  together to build a safe, healthy and drug-free community.  Culture is hard to change but the future of our youth depends on it.


Interested in Montana Prevention Needs Assessment statistics by State or County?

Go to 2014 Montana Prevention Needs Assessment County Data – DPHHS Montana.Gov

This and additional information can be found on the SAMHSA:  Too Smart To Start webpage.                              

Shared  by:  Butte Cares Inc.


The Power of Prevention: Strong as One….Stronger Together