Statistics show that people who have their first drink or start smoking by the age of 14 are six times more likely to become addicted than those who wait until they’re 21.
January 22-26 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week in the City of West Linn. Mayor Russ Axelrod wrote and approved a proclamation addressing the week and the importance of educating people about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol, which will also be supported by the school district.
English 12 students reflected on the importance of substance abuse for their final project after reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
According to the Treatment Center, Oregon has been ranked 49th in health and addiction treatment and it is ranked sixth in the nation for drug and alcohol addiction. The percentage of teenage drug use within the state, Oregon is ranked fourth nationally.
West Linn High School has involved students through the Teen Advisory Board (TAB), which is a branch of Community Living Above, a city-wide organization formed to raise awareness, designed for youth to educate themselves and their peers. Pam Pearce, TAB advisor, has encouraged students to educate themselves in order to help them make smarter and informed choices.
“You have to learn the tools, you have to educate yourself,” Pearce said. “It’s the only thing that can protect you from this disease and not give in to peer pressure.”
If you want to help spread awareness, attend the TAB meetings once a month in the forum and help to shake the stigma.