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21 for a Reason Blog

Connecticut has established 21 as the legal minimum age for drinking alcohol, purchasing tobacco products, cannabis use, and casino gambling. The 21 for a Reason Blog provides information about the risks of these activities for underage youth and discusses why the minimum age is 21 for a Reason.

Latest Posts:

Back to School & Youth Mental Health

Returning to the classroom can be a challenging time for people of all ages, including young adults going off to college. It is normal for students to feel a full range of emotions about going back to school, from anxiety to excitement. To set them up for success, parents, caregivers, and educators can encourage youth to talk about how they are feeling—and create safe spaces to do so. 

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Posted 8/30/2023

The Power of Connection: Supporting Youth Wellness in Eastern Connecticut

What factors or experiences have the most significant influence on shaping a child’s future? We might immediately think of academic achievements, performance on a sports team, or participation in extracurricular activities, all of which can be powerful influences. Yet the most common protective factor for youth resilience is a consistent relationship with at least one loving, supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. Forming strong connections with family and community members can make a profound impact on a child’s well-being—and that impact can last a lifetime.

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Posted 7/25/2023

Teen Drinking & Driving Risk Peaks During the Summer

School is out and summer is here. For teens, this means a sense of freedom and fun—but on the roads across Connecticut, it signals an increase in car accidents. In fact, the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the riskiest of the year for teen drivers.

Preventing teens from drinking and driving is essential to keeping our communities safe, and this begins with supporting their well-being. That’s why this month, we’re taking a look at how underage drinking is tied to the state’s seasonal spike in fatalities, and exploring how a growing mental health crisis among America’s youth is helping to fuel these tragedies.

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Posted 7/5/2023

Mental Health, LGBTQ Pride, & Preventing Youth Addiction: Tying It All Together

During May we observed Mental Health Awareness Month, and throughout June we celebrate Pride Month. Each year, these events provide an opportunity to spread awareness, engage in dialogue, and take actionable steps toward positive change.

Take a look at how these two topics intersect with our 21 for a Reason campaign to prevent underage substance use, and learn about new resources from SERAC.

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Posted 6/12/2023

Suicide Rates on the Rise Among Underage Cannabis Users

A new study has unveiled a frightening fact: across the United States, the number of attempted suicides by cannabis users has been rising by about 17% each year. Looking at a 13-year span (2009 through 2021), researchers also found that cannabis-linked suicide attempts were highest among young people ages 14 to 18.

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Posted 5/10/2023

Youth Substance Use Prevention Works: Why Enforcing Public Policy is Critical

April is Alcohol Awareness month, making now a great time to reflect on the causes as well as the effects of addiction. But to truly reduce the incidence of addiction in our communities, we need more than awareness—we need strong public policies aimed at preventing underage drinking and substance use.

Today, we know that 90% of individuals with severe substance use disorders begin using alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, or other substances before age 18. That’s why prevention efforts among youth populations are crucial for achieving successful long-term outcomes.

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Posted 4/20/2023

Underage Cannabis Use at Home

For years, popular television shows and movies have portrayed American youth as frequent users of marijuana—so much so that it’s sometimes considered a rite of passage among young people. Many parents feel it’s inevitable that their children will experiment, and wonder if a permissive approach might be a safer, more realistic strategy than completely banning it. But letting kids use cannabis at home doesn't teach them to use it responsibly—and it doesn't keep them safer. Here's what you need to know about underage cannabis use at home.

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Posted 3/22/2023