March 2020

A Safe & Healthy Community

Safe & Healthy Communities (SHC) is a local community coalition comprised of a variety of health professionals focused on addressing substance abuse in Wexford and Missaukee Counties. Their mission is to build and mobilize a comprehensive, community-wide social movement to substantially reduce substance abuse in our extended communities. .

Unfortunately, the fact is that people have died from causes associated with the use of vaping products, and underage drinking.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, as of December 10, 2019, there are 2,409 hospitalization cases of vaping-related lung injuries in the U.S., resulting in 52 deaths across 26 states. A recent survey done by the Cadillac Youth Advisory Committee asked students 9-12 grade, which substance is currently being abused, 73.1% said vaping.  When asked if they knew the health risks, 97.4 said they did.  The 7th & 8th graders said 89.2% of the students are abusing vaping.  The numbers are shocking!  99.1% said they understand the health issues associated

In 2019, the Monitoring the Future Survey reported that 8% of 8th graders and 30% of 12th graders drank during the past 30 days, and 4% of 8th graders and 14% of 12th graders binge drank during the past two weeks.  Our local survey found that 57% of students in grades 9 – 12 said underage drinking is an issue.

According to the (CDC) about half of 9th through 12th-grade students reported using marijuana. Long term cannabis use can have permanent effects on the developing brains of adolescents and young adults.  Locally, 15% of the area students felt that marijuana is currently being abused.

When local students were asked “What are the top issues students are facing today”, 91% said stress from school, 75% said mental health issues and 54% stress from friends.  Today’s youth are dealing with family issues, money issues, single-parent homes, eating disorders, depression, social pressures; and the list goes on.  Our students have to deal with serious life issues.

Safe & Healthy Communities Coalition recently received a grant of $26,500 from Liquor Tax funds through Northern Michigan Regional Entity.  To address youth issues, we formed a group, called “SPLIT” Student Prevention Leadership Team, we invited students from six area schools to participate in a campaign focused on the top priorities; underage drinking, vaping, and marijuana.

Hitting the ground running, the team has printed cards to put on all corsage and tuxedo orders for prom, reminding students that underage drinking is punishable by law.  The next campaign will address vaping consequences to students, and speak out about the permanent effects on your brain from marijuana use.

The Student Prevention Leadership Team and the Safe & Healthy Communities Coalition are committed to educating youth of the dangers to their health, and the risks they are taking with their lives.

Watch for updates and campaigns at

Adult Youth Liaison