How about reducing alcohol and substance use?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I'd like to take exception to one small, but important part of John Hubbuch's "Tape these tips to your fridge!" Viewpoint in the March 25 Wednesday Journal. My consternation is with tip #3 "Increase alcohol and marijuana consumption, but only by 25%." Thank goodness for the qualifier!

I am an Oak Park resident and volunteer with a number of groups trying to reduce alcohol and substance use and promote recovery, particularly, but by no means exclusively among youth. At a time when youth can't even go to the library, let alone school, we need to be seriously concerned about permissiveness and access, not to mention idle time.

Oak Park and River Forest youth, for example, have some of the highest rates of underage drug and alcohol consumption in the state and that includes eighth-graders. I realize Mr. Hubbuch's "Tips" weren't directed at youth, but it is in print and with no qualifier.

Maybe we could substitute the healthier alternative of "3. Feel good about yourself and others — volunteer." And maybe Wednesday Journal can counter that bad advice by talking with the Community Mental Health Board's Addiction Recovery Team and Oak Park Township's Workgroup for Positive Youth Development during April, which is Alcohol Awareness Month.

These are tough times that require, excuse the pun, sober advice, and recommending increased drug and alcohol consumption by anyone just smacks of a lack of awareness of the breadth and depth of the problem.

Ron Elling

Oak Park

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