Walsh County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
The Walsh County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was formed in 2014 and is comprised of members from a broad sector of the community who are committed to preventing negative personal and community impacts of misuse of alcohol and other drugs.
Underage Drinking in Walsh County
In 2019 76.7% of 9-12th grade students in our region reported that they did not currently use alcohol. The number of youth drinking has been consistently decreasing in the last years, but we continue to have much work to do. One significant finding is that 12.5% of high school students report having their first drink of alcohol before the age of 13 years. Exposure to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in youth primes the brain patterns for addiction later in life. Preventing alcohol use before 21 years of age is critical to give everyone a fighting chance for a healthy life.
In 2019 13.9% of high school students in our region reported that they were current binge drinkers (more than 5 drinks in 2 hours for males and more than 4 drinks in 2 hours for females). Only 32% of high school students perceive binge drinking can result in great harm to themselves.
Adult Binge Drinking in North Dakota
North Dakota ranks 2nd in the nation for current binge alcohol use (past 30 days) among adults age 26 and older. 42% of new domestic violence cases in ND involve alcohol. Alcohol is a factor in 49% of fatal crashes in the state, and more than 1 in 6 adult arrests in ND are for driving under the influence. More than 6.4% of adults report drinking and driving in the past 30 days. This is equivalent to 48,345 individuals.
78% of the ND inmate population has a substance use disorder. 6.2% of ND adults 26 years and older met the criteria for an alcohol use disorder in the past year.
North Dakota ranks the highest in the nation for the number of bars per capita, with 1 bar for every 1809 people. Compare this to Virginia that has 1 bar for every 64,773 people.
Alcohol Risk Factors
There are many risk factor that influence a person’s likelihood of engaging in illegal or risky substance use. Effective prevention focuses on reducing these risk factors.
1. Research shows that individuals who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely than individuals who start drinking at the age of 21 to meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder at some point in their lives.
2. Generally, binge drinking rates are higher when individuals do not believe binge drinking is risky.
3. The more easily alcohol is to obtain, the higher likelihood for use and abuse.
Alcohol Prevention Works
Prevention is a proactive approach, creating an environment that promotes the health and well being of individuals, families and communities, which prevents problems before they occur. Do you want to be part of the solution? Join us by calling 701-352-5139.