National Drug Abuse Prevention Month

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Drug abuse prevention requires community support at all levels.  States, local communities and even the federal government have been involved in what has been described as the “War on Drugs”.  While the effectiveness of these programs is debated by some, one thing’s for sure: it’s now more important than ever to be aware of the impact drugs have on our society.

Drug abuse prevention remains a primary objective of legislators and community members everywhere.  In fact, October 2012 marks the second National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.  According to the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Drug Use report, the youth population is just as much at risk of potential drug abuse as they were over a decade ago.

The best tool for drug abuse prevention is education.  We have to spread awareness of the reality and consequences of drug abuse and the impact on our friends, loved ones and communities. Many people perceive drugs like alcohol as harmless; however they can be just as addictive and destructive as other substances and set a pattern of addiction and compulsion that persists in later life. National Substance Abuse Prevention Month seeks to focus on educating our communities and helping them to recover from drug addiction and abuse, whether through our schools, community drug abuse prevention events, or education seminars.

Awareness is the most effective measure in drug abuse prevention. Recoverymonth.gov, a website sponsored by SAMHSA in honor of Recovery Month, speaks of remembrance and avoidance as highlighting “the role prevention plays in creating safe communities.” With the war on drugs waging this year as it has for over a decade, it’s just as important now to reach out to the most vulnerable and high risk for drug abuse in our communities and remind them of the dangers of addiction and the availability of help and support for recovery. Here are a few ways you can help your community increase awareness of drug abuse prevention.

Starting the Conversation in Our Communities

Normally, substance abuse is a taboo subject not often broached in public conversation. That taboo, however, needs to be broken if the public is to be made aware of the perils of substance abuse. Drug abuse prevention is best done through word of mouth, discussing drug and alcohol abuse and our experiences together as a community.  1 in 10 Americans is affected by substance abuse, it is important that we speak up and recognize that we are not alone.

Non Profits That Support Drug Abuse Prevention In Our Communities

Certain groups collect charities and donations to benefit rehab clinics and families impacted by substance abuse. Consider investing in a local fund or supporting na alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous through financial donations. Do a background check on any funds you donate to, as not all funds may be legitimate.

Drug Abuse Prevention At Home: Talking to Teens

Teens can be very difficult to talk to about drug abuse prevention. The touchy nature of the subject, the generation gap and many other factors can make this an awkward conversation for any parent. However, the subject must be broached to give teens a comprehensive understanding of the nature of drug abuse and how it can damage their lives and the lives of those around them. It is also important to talk to teens about community resources, like drug rehab programs that can help people overcome the challenges of substance abuse and live healthy, productive lives.

Drug abuse prevention starts with each of us in our own homes and within our own families.  Federal, state and local government efforts are a great springboard for having the conversation within your family and provide excellent educational resources for helping us understand the effects of drug abuse.