Recently one of my teachers shared with our class an article related to a pretty comprehensive study that was conducted a few years ago on the harmfulness of various drugs (article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6474053.stm#drugs). The surprising thing about this study was that it deemed alcohol and tobacco to be among the most dangerous drugs in terms of the harm they can do to self, others, and society--alcohol ranked 5th most harmful, close to heroin and cocaine; tobacco, 9th.
All of this got me thinking, about alcohol especially. If alcohol is really this harmful, then I personally believe it should be our priority to tackle this issue. My teacher mentioned that the reason alcohol use--binge drinking in particular--is so rampant among teens these days is because teens are always so stressed out that many turn to drinking as an escapist way of relieving their stress. Now I know that there are plenty of other reasons why teens drink, but I feel that this reason is one that we can do something about.
As Orthodox Christians, we are blessed to have alternative
methods of stress relief: namely, prayer. My suggestion for the NAC Board/OCCHY would be to take on the problem of alcohol abuse as stress reliever by educating teens about or encouraging teens to use prayer, rather than alcohol or other drugs, to deal with stress.
Diocese of Worcester and New England