Why take ACTion

Substance abuse has serious consequences in our homes, schools and communities. There is no single age group of people more affected by alcohol and drugs than young people. Using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed increases your risk for future addiction to alcohol and drugs dramatically. Young people who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first use alcohol at age 21 and older. Drinking during this critical growth period can lead to lifelong damage in brain function, particularly as it relates to memory, motor skills and coordination. Young people who abuse substances can be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, have issues in school, sustain injuries due to accidents, be subject to depression, disengage from their peers and community activities, etc. A few of the reasons that teens may turn to alcohol and drugs include stress, pressure to fit in and insecurity.

Research shows that the main reason that kids don’t use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs is because of their parents – because of their positive influence and because they know it would disappoint them. That’s why it is so important that parents build a strong relationship with your kids and talk to them about substance abuse – the earlier the better.


Drug overdose deaths rose by 29.4% in the United States in 2020. More than 93,000 people died in 2020 according to provisional data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. To put that into perspective, in 2019, 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. This is the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, and the largest increase since at least 1999 according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).

5,215 overdose deaths were recorded in Ohio in 2020, a 22% increase according the the CDC. There were 38.3 deaths per 100,000 which is the third highest in the United States.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with opioids being the most common drug. The CDC currently estimates more than 1,000 emergency room visits daily related to opioids and about 91 opioid overdose deaths every day.

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