Initiative encourages youth to avoid addictive substances

Initiative encourages youth to avoid addictive substances

KEWEENAW — Addictive substances can be harmful to our lives yet nearly impossible to quit. ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen has this story on how you can help break the cycle.

Three weeks of giving up something you crave can help keep a kid from an addiction for a lifetime. Crave 21 is a national initiative to bring awareness to a program that encourages youth to avoid things like alcohol, nicotine and drugs until they are at least age 21.

That program is called Wait 21 and it involves a pledge not to use those substances.

Prevention Coordinator for Dial Help Kevin Weir said, “The Wait 21 program was born out of an acknowledgement that 90 percent of all addiction starts before the age of 21. So, simply by delaying your use of alcohol and abstaining from drugs, you can reduce your risk from 1 in 4 to 1 in 25.”

Dial Help is supported in part by the NorthCare Network and by the Copper Country United Way. Great Lakes Recovery Centers and the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department have teamed up with Dial Help to promote Crave 21.

This program calls upon adults to give up a craving for 21 days to show support for youth signing the Wait 21 pledge.

Western U.P. Health Department Health Educator Bridget Durocher said, “Whether it may be dropping the extra snacks between meals or jumping in and instead of watching Netflix, you go out for a workout, and by showing that holistic health outlook to our community, we really empower those age groups, six through twelve, which are kind of more apt to jump into poor habits, to jump into a healthy habit.”

The hope is that those taking part in the challenge will nominate friends and family to join by using social media.
Crave 21 begins on Friday, March 4th.