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You may have seen reports of increased alcohol sales as people are stocking up on grocery items and looking for ways to relax and de-stress. As April is Alcohol Awareness Month, this is a good time to reflect on how alcohol affects our lives, and to consider if it should be part of a healthy response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alcohol may appear to temporarily lower stress: it is a sedative and depressant that slows brain functioning, allowing you to take your mind off stressful events. The truth is alcohol changes levels of brain chemicals and can disrupt sleep patterns, which can actually increase feelings of anxiety the day after drinking.

Drinking... read more

The Washington State Department of Health is monitoring the outbreak of vaping-associated lung injury that has sickened hundreds across the country, including six people in Washington State (as of 9/24/2019). The condition is linked to the use of e-cigarettes and vapor products, which can contain THC (marijuana), nicotine, or flavored oils. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and fever.  Some extreme cases have resulted in death. The outbreak is especially alarming as most of the cases to date involve teens and young adults, who often use... read more

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teen drivers. Teens need regular reminders about making safe decisions when they’re behind the wheel, especially about never driving if they are impaired.

In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported there were 4,272 fatalities in U.S. caused by drivers ages 15- 20.  In Washington State alone, teen drivers were involved in 55 fatal crashes and 291 serious injury collisions in 2014. That’s one fatality and five serious injury collisions a week caused by a teen driver.

Of the 4,272 national fatalities, 1,717 were young drivers, and about a quarter of those crashes... read more

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