Substance use is a community problem.
The cost of excessive alcohol use in Wisconsin exceeds $6.8 billion per year. That equates to over $1200 annually for every man, woman, and child in our state! Revenue from taxes collected on the sale of alcohol covers only 1% of the total economic cost. A report released in August by the Wisconsin Policy Forum noted that life expectancy has dropped for the past two years, with alcohol and opioid use named as a leading factor.
Prevention is a community solution.
WI Alcohol Policy Project put out a great info-graphic “Ten Ways Your Community Can Provide a Positive Alcohol Environment.” The ten ideas help communities to reduce youth substance use and adult drinking-related accidents. Municipalities and town boards can limit the number of places that serve and sell, and develop responsible alcohol serving practices for local festivals and events such as wristband requirements or separate drinking zones. Business owners can adequately train their staff on properly checking identification before selling tobacco and alcohol. Coalitions can review and propose policies to limit youth exposure to tobacco and alcohol advertising, and work with law enforcement to support age compliance checks for underage tobacco and alcohol sales. Family and neighbors of senior citizens can have specific conversations about dangerous alcohol-drug interactions that can increase falls. Healthcare organizations can increase screenings and referrals and provide education. Schools can raise awareness of the consequences of underage and childhood substance use.
Schools, healthcare organizations, business owners, coalitions, and municipalities all play an important role in preventing substance use. Substance use is a community problem. Prevention is a community solution.
Please dispose of your unused prescriptions by participating in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 26, 2019. Check www.DoseofRealityWI.gov to find a disposal location near you.
Submitted by: Stacy Hilde, We Support Recovery
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