How can a community reduce youth access to alcohol?
We in Lewis & Clark County can make strides to reduce youth access to alcohol in several ways. The enforcement of laws against underage drinking, or the establishment of new laws, such as social host ordinances, can help reduce underage drinking. The City of Helena has a social host ordinance. To enact a similar ordinance in the County would mean the passage of a legislative bill granting Counties the authority to adopt such an ordinance. Contact your local legislator to find out more or how you can help.
Reducing the overall availability of alcohol in a community will also help diminish alcohol use among young people because younger drinkers obtain alcohol from older people (friends, siblings, parents, and other adults). One important way to reduce the overall availability is to reduce the number of alcohol outlets relative to community size and population. Lessening the overall presence of alcohol in a community sends a message to young people that alcohol does not have to be the central feature of social life.
If you would like to learn more or find out how you can help, contact Youth Connections of Helena at (406) 324-1032