Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse (ATODA)

What is it?

Alcohol and other drug use means any use of a substance, or uses of substances, that results in negative consequences” (Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 2010).  The Thrive Barron County action team working on alcohol and other drugs also chose to include tobacco use and exposure even though the state health plan puts tobacco in a separate category.

Why is this important?

  • More women in Barron County smoke while pregnant than the rest of Wisconsin.
  • Adult binge drinking in our region of Wisconsin remains higher than the state and national average.
  • The percent of motor vehicle crashes with alcohol involved in Barron County from 2006-2010 was in the top third of all Wisconsin counties (WIsconsin Department of Transportation, 2012).

What Can You Do?

Reducing alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and their related harms is a complex task that will take the entire community’s involvement.   Consider what you can do in your daily life at home, at work or school, and in your community.  Don’t forget to connect with others working on the issue and share your ideas with friends, family, co-workers, and policy makers.

Individuals and Families

  • Educate yourself and your family about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.
  • Discourage all use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs by youth.
    • Talk to the youth in your life and tell them that you do not want them to use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.  A caring adult asking youth not to use these substances is the number one reason youth state they do not use.
    • Spend time with the youth in your life.  Teach them a hobby, eat meals together, and be available for them.
    • Secure alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs in your home so they cannot be taken and used by youth.
  • Support businesses that promote responsible alcohol use.
  • Encourage people to seek help when alcohol and drugs are affecting themselves or their loved ones.

Businesses and Organizations

  • Support the efforts of the Safe & Stable Families Coalition to decrease youth substance use.
  • Adopt and implement policies and practices that reduce excessive drinking leading to intoxication and underage drinking.
  • Discourage alcohol sales and use at youth oriented events.
  • Provide information and services on alcohol and other drug use assistance programs.
  • Encourage tobacco cessation programs.

Communities and Systems

  • Adopt policies that discourage abuse such as alcohol outlet density limits, increased taxes on alcohol and tobacco, and strict student activity codes.
  • Increase consequences for those found operating a vehicle under the influence.
  • Support the efforts of law enforcement to enforce existing alcohol and drug related laws.
  • Monitor behaviors and take action when alcohol outlets fail to comply with alcohol related laws.

Find out how you can help combat ATODA in Barron County by participating on the Community Health Action Team!  The next upcoming meeting is under “events” on the righthand side of your screen.

Click here to see minutes from past meetings.