President’s Letter: Student Substance Use Prevention
The State of Mental Health in America (2018) ranks the 50 states and the District of Columbia according to the prevalence of mental illness and access to care. Oregon ranks first—the highest in the nation—for mental health and substance use issues. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among Oregon youth. The consequences are great as 44 percent of fatal car crashes in Oregon involve alcohol. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal:
- 12- to 20-year-olds consume 11 percent of all alcohol sold in the U.S.
- 90 percent of that alcohol is consumed during “binge drinking” (five or more drinks at one time)
- Underage drinking results in more than 4,300 youth deaths per year in the U.S.