To the editor:

This time of year is often filled with pranks and practical jokes.

From fake reptiles to switching the sugar for salt, April Fools Day can be a silly holiday filled with funny tricks and clever jests.

Most people know and observe April Fools Day, but what some people may not know is that April is also Alcohol Awareness Month. And it’s important to remember that underage drinking is not a joke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, and it is responsible for thousands of deaths among youth each year.

Even though drinking alcohol is illegal for those under the age of 21, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that those aged 12 to 20 drink over 10% of the alcohol consumed in the United States.

Underage drinking is not only dangerous, but it also has a negative effect on the economy, costing the U.S. $24 billion in a single year according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

This April, don’t be fooled into thinking that underage drinking is OK.

Talk to your kids about the risks of underage drinking, and refuse to provide alcohol to minors. For more information or for resources, contact Jay County Drug Prevention Coalition at JCDPCcontact@gmail.com or visit us at 205 N. Meridian St. in Portland.

Maggie (Frye) Neal

Jay County Drug Prevention Coalition