bRIGHT Choices

Helping you make informed decisions about substance use


The choices we make can have a direct impact on our health and well-being.

Alcohol and cannabis are examples of substances that are legal to consume for certain ages, but should be consumed wisely.

How much alcohol is really in that drink?

By knowing the volume of alcohol in your drinks, you can take action and make plans for a night out that’s safer for you and your friends.

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Have questions about your substance use?
Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Alcohol: Did You Know?

  • Nearly 1 in 4 Yellowstone County residents drink excessively. Many of us do not even realize how many servings are in one drink – serving sizes and type of alcohol matters.
  • Excessive drinking rates have nearly doubled over the last 13 years.
  • Alcohol misuse was highlighted as the top substance misuse concern among participants in the 2023 Yellowstone County Community Health Needs Assessment.

Know Your Risks

Drinking any amount of alcohol can increase your risk of personal injury and violence, including motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, burns and alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol hinders our ability to make clear decisions and react quickly. We’re more likely to take greater risks and put our friends and families at risk.

Montanans have higher rates of alcohol related health impacts than the average American.

More Resources:

Alcohol-induced death rate among adults aged 25 and over (per 100,000 people).

United States

Death rate from car crashes involving alcohol (per 100,000 people)

United States

Percent of high school students who report past month binge drinking

United States

Cannabis: Know your risks

Using any amount of cannabis can increase your risk of personal injury, including motor vehicle crashes, changes to your brain function, and mental health crises. 

Using cannabis by inhaling increases the risk of lung disease in addition to changes to brain, heart, and mental health.

Did you know?

  • 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder.
  • The risk of developing marijuana use disorder is greater in people who start using young.
  • Frequent cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of suicide.

Be aware of symptoms of marijuana consumption in children & pets:

  • Drowsiness or sleepiness (most common symptom in children)
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty with walking and coordination
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Trouble breathing

Risks for children & pets

Edibles (food and drink products infused with cannabis) have a greater risk of poisoning.

Children, adults and pets can mistake marijuana products, particularly edibles, for regular food or candy.

Consuming marijuana can make children and animals very sick.

Marijuana vs Hemp

Marijuana Characteristics:

  • Industry term for products grown for substances that are high-inducing including flower and oils.
  • Can also contain cannabidiol (CBD).
  • Today’s cannabis has more than 3 times the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from 25 years ago.
  • Psychoactive, or high-inducing, mind-altering properties.
  • In 2020 Montana voters legalized recreational cannabis. Sales began in 2022.
  • Popularly called cannabis, pot or weed.
  • Only legally sold in Montana Cannabis Control Division’s recognized dispensaries.

Hemp Characteristics:

  • Industry term for products grown for textiles, seeds, oils.
  • Contains < .3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
  • Contains high amounts of cannabidiol
    (CBD): The active ingredient for FDA-approved seizure medicine, Epidiolex.
  • No psychoactive or high-inducing, mind-altering properties.
  • In 2018, legislature voted to remove CBD from the controlled substance list, making making it federally legal.
  • Popularly called hemp or CBD.
  • Sold in vape shops, gas stations and nutrition stores.

Contact RiverStone Health Public Health

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