In an ongoing effort to provide resources to our community to help promote positive, healthy choices for our youth the Raymond Coalition for Youth is providing the following information.

This information is best shared with young people, be it your own child, grandchild, niece, nephew, employee, student or neighbor. Together we need to have these conversations with our young people so they are aware of the dangers and can help them to make positive choices.

Young people are faced with many challenges. However, very few have the potential to affect your life in a more significant way than the decisions you make about alcohol and drugs. The decisions you make about alcohol and drugs will influence your health, your grades, your relationships, your job or career, or your freedom.

In addition to the ten tips below it is important to point out that there are two important points to be aware of:

  • The Age of First Use of Alcohol and Drugs: Using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed increases a teens risk for future addiction to alcohol and drugs dramatically. Young people who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older. Research for drug use and drug addiction have found similar results. This is one reason the legal drinking age is 21.
  • Family History of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction: Whether a person decides to use alcohol or drugs is a choice, influenced by their environment — peers, family, and availability. But, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, the risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics. Alcoholism and drug dependence are not moral issues, are not a matter of choice or a lack of willpower. Plain and simple, some people’s bodies respond to the effects of alcohol and drugs differently. If you have a family history of alcoholism or addiction, you are four times more likely to develop a problem. To learn more: Family History and Genetics.

Ten Prevention Tips to use when talking with Youth 

Here are ten great talking points provided by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right. Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not. 
  • Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.
  • Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure: Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs. You don’t have to go along to get along.
  • Make Connections with Your Parents or Other Adults: As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.
  • Enjoy Life and Do What You Love – Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs: Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life.
  • Follow the Family Rules about Alcohol and Drugs: As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between you and your parents. Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful.
  • Get Educated about Alcohol and Drugs: You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated. Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs. And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family.
  • Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example: Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed?
  • Plan Ahead: As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them. And, do the same for your friends.
  • Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control: Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same.

Raymond Coalition For Youth tackles NH #1 Substance Misuse issue – Alcohol

June 28, 2017: Press Release

Pictured:  Celeste Clark, RCFY Executive Director, Youth Action members: Jacob Rubin, Tim Carta, Joscalyn Gallo, Rachael Cormier, Savanna Cooney and Christine Bostaph, RCFY Program Coordinator.

The Raymond Coalition For Youth and partners tackle underage drinking prevention.


Although the current opioid epidemic has gotten everyone’s attention we recognize that we need to focus on prevention efforts and where addiction gets its hold on people.  The overwhelming majority of people in recovery who share their story say it started when they were teens and they got their hands on alcohol or marijuana.


NH, out of all the fifty states, has the highest rates of alcohol use (as percent of population) according to 2017 Family prosperity index. 


RCFY is working hard with NH Liquor Enforcement and our local grocery stores and liquor stores in both Raymond and Epping, to raise awareness.  It is illegal to provide alcohol to a minor.  A minor is anyone under the age of 21. 


In the past few weeks, as graduation parties, holidays and cook out season is here, RCFY Youth Action students have visited local stores and applied stickers to alcohol products to let consumers know that it is unlawful to provide alcohol to a minor, punishable by up to a year in jail and up to  a $2,000 fine. 


In addition, local liquor stores have posted signs, and put flyers in bags, to remind consumers of the laws as well. 


To prevent underage drinking our communities need to work together.  We appreciate our businesses and law enforcement partners working with us in these efforts. 


Other tips for preventing underage drinking include limiting access to alcohol by locking it up, or keep it in a location where you know how much there is if any should happen to go missing.  Practice responsible alcohol use, especially around young adults and children.  Remember, they are always watching and learning from the behaviors of the adults who they care about.   This includes drinking and driving.


Visit for information about liquor laws and how to keep our young people and home owners, safe and from getting into trouble with the law.  There are also talking tips for talking prevention with children, teens and young adults and many other helpful resources.


As summer approaches, school is out and many young adults are looking for things do to.  We hope you will join us in reminding them that you do not need alcohol to have fun or enjoy your time with friends and family.  There are many forms of entertainment and activities in the beautiful state of NH.


If you, or someone you care about has a substance misuse issue please call the NH State addiction and crisis help line.  People care and want to help.  1-844-711-4357

Get Help! If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, (What to Look For), get help. Don’t wait. You are not alone.

Did you know:  Raymond has Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings that take place on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Take a look at the local AA district website for more info, as well as their meeting schedule pageTo find a local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting, visit their website or call (603) 622-6967 or e-mail:  

For additional information, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence's website may be helpful.

Alcohol and Athletics: Not a Winning Mix