By Mike Kruzman /

A local organization that works to educate and reduce substance use is asking residents to focus on safety this holiday season.

The Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Prevention Workgroup of the Human Service Collaborative Body is a partnership of local substance use agencies that work together to create a continuum of services and supports for people experiencing addiction and recovery.

They are reporting that with the passing of recreational marijuana use, there has been a 430% spike in injury crashes involving cannabis use. The Workgroup is also asking adults to keep kids safe by locking up their marijuana. They note that it can be bought in candy and cookie form that may be appealing to youth, as well as more concentrated wax, dab, and oil forms. By making it less accessible, the Workgroup says that will prolong the age of first use and decrease the likelihood of becoming addicted.

The Workgroup is also cautioning against alcohol use and how consumption has increased 20-percent during the pandemic. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that youth who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin at 21. Livingston County is noted for having a higher rate of binge or heavy drinking than the state of Michigan according to the 2021 County Health Ranking Indicators.

With this knowledge in hand, the Workgroup asks that residents celebrate safely this holiday season, understanding the risks of drinking and marijuana use, and to please protect youth from accessing them.

For more information, contact Amy Johnston at 810-772-4827, or at