OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – First Lady Carol Mead, the Wyoming Department of Health, Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming and many others are working to prevent underage drinking. In a new media campaign, the First Lady calls underage drinking an epidemic in Wyoming.
“Underage drinking is a leading factor in the top three causes of death among youth in Wyoming - automobile crashes, homicides and suicides,” Mrs. Mead said. “We also know that underage drinking has serious impacts on the brain development of children. This is an epidemic we need to address.”
Seventy-eight Wyoming 15-24 year olds died in alcohol-related car accidents between 2008-2012, making it a leading cause of death for Wyoming young people. “Fortunately, there is a prevention measure that is not complicated. Join Governor Mead and me in talking to the kids in our state about the dangers of underage drinking and letting them know that we have zero-tolerance for it,” Mrs. Mead said. Studies show that 23% of high school students had their first drink before the age of 13 and that 35% of middle school and high school respondents had used alcohol in the last 30 days.
For information about this initiative and what you need to tell your children and when is available at www.talkearlyandoften.org.
“We continue to learn more about why and how underage drinking is medically harmful,” said Dr. Wendy Braund, State Health Officer and Public Health Division senior administrator with the Wyoming Department of Health. “Young brains are especially vulnerable to alcohol because they are not done developing. This can lead to permanent damage and less brain activity.”
First Lady Carol Mead continues to emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles among children, including avoiding risky behaviors like drug and alcohol use, as part of her children’s issues initiative.