Winooski Prevention Blog

Over the past two decades, a notable shift has occurred with regard to underage substance use and substance use in general. Although society likes to frame it as becoming more accepting and adapting to new social norms, many would disagree and feel as though a 15 year old having alcohol on a regular basis should not be normal. As a matter of fact, about 30% of 15 year olds have had more than one sip of alcohol, and by age 18 nearly 70% of people report having had alcohol.

The concepts of prohibition and prevention are often lumped together and confused when talking about alcohol consumption. Because of this, it is important to differentiate between the two.

I have always been interested in substance use and prevention, but my passion for it ultimately stemmed from discovering that addiction runs in my family. Science says that addiction is a disease and can be genetically inherited, but until I learned of personal connections, I did not completely comprehend how common and serious substance use/abuse can be. As I have grown up, this has become increasingly relevant to my life; my uncle died from alcoholism and my mother smoked cigarettes and died from cancer.

A group of Winooski High School students traveled down to Washington D.C. the first week of February to join more than 3,000 substance abuse prevention advocates, including close to 500 youth, from throughout the country for CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s) 30th Annual National Leadership Forum.