Substance Use: Prevention and Healthy Living

The misuse and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can impede judgment and lead to traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, poor educational performance, overdose, and other problem behaviors.

  • Alcohol misuse and abuse includes underage drinking, binge drinking, drinking while pregnant, and driving after drinking.
  • Drug misuse and abuse includes the use of prescription and over-the-counter medication contrary to directions or without a medical purpose and any use of illegal drugs.

Substance use always comes with the risk that it might lead to addiction. Learn more about substance use disorders.

Logo for Resilient Wisconsin: Connected. Stronger. Thriving.

Finding healthy ways to cope with challenges is more important than ever. Resilient Wisconsin offers strategies for practicing self-care, maintaining social connections, and reducing stress and anxiety.

Resources to prevent harmful substance use

Be safe this holiday season

If you’re 21 or older and choose to drink alcohol this holiday season, consider these safety tips.

  • Eat something before drinking.
  • Space drinks at least one hour apart.
  • Try alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to cut down on the amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Do not drive after drinking.
  • Use alcohol carefully in connection with other drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Learn more



The words Small Talks stacked on each other with a thought bubble in the upper right above the campaign tagline-How WI Prevents Underage DrinkingPrevent underage drinking: Have small talks

Small Talks is a campaign to reduce the number of kids who drink alcohol before the age of 21. This statewide effort encourages adults – especially parents and caregivers – to have short, casual conversations with kids starting at age eight on the dangers of underage drinking. Visit for more information.


Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline logo without 211 numberTreatment is effective. Recovery is possible.

Call 211 or 833-944-4673 or visit to learn about local treatment services for an addiction to alcohol or other drugs. Pregnant women are given priority in treatment admissions. Call 911 in a life threatening emergency.

Last Revised: November 24, 2020