Alcohol plays a pivotal role in American culture, but it is important to remember that there are more alcohol-attributable deaths and a myriad of physical and social problems related to drinking, even at low levels, than any other substance. While the rising opioid epidemic has been receiving a lot of attention in the past five years, it is important to remember that alcohol is involved in a greater number of deaths and physical and social problems. Backed by a strong industry, alcohol's dangers may be underplayed and its benefits exaggerated. A study to examine the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, jointly funded by the National Institutes of Health and the alcohol industry, was recently halted for reasons including possible conflicts of interests. As a country we are just beginning to understand the need for better support for teens who don't want to drink but feel the peer pressure to do so. A significant amount of emphasis has been placed on drunk driving, which cannot be diminished, however, there is a great need for teaching underage teens how to say NO and to instead choose non-alcoholic beverages proudly. Education at the school level particularly in Elementary and Middle Schools to prepare kids better on how to say NO comfortably to the onset of underage drinking needs improvement. Now with access to legal marijuana being greater than ever, how many people understand that the affects of combining alcohol with marijuana is tenfold? The more facts we spread by Wearing Our Words on Mission T-shirts around the globe, the more we will educate and make aware those people who have a difficult time understanding all of this. Let's empower those who want to say NO to underage alcohol initiation. The more Mission T-shirts we sell the more mental health support we will be able to provide.
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