(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is asking the community to join them in recognizing National Prevention Week, which runs from May 9th – May 15th.
National Prevention Week (NPW) is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness and action around substance use prevention and the promotion of positive mental health.
National Prevention Week is held each year during May because it is near the start of summer, an important time for schools, communities, and prevention professionals to re-focus on prevention. Adolescents and full-time college students most often use substances for the first time during June or July, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data.
This is a key time of social transitions, a risk factor for youth substance use; and an opportunity to develop or strengthen the community, school, and family bonds that protect young people from substance use and strengthen community health overall.
The main goals of the campaign include:
- Raising awareness of substance use and mental health issues and in implementing prevention strategies and showcasing effectiveness of evidence-based prevention programs.
- Fostering partnerships and collaborations with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to improving public health.
- Promoting and disseminating quality substance use prevention and mental health promotion resources and publications.
“While prevention awareness and efforts are critical all year long, this awareness week provides a reminder to us all when it comes to the serious risks substances pose to our youth,” explained ADC Coordinator Jodi Salvo. “Prevention is a community wide effort and together we can truly make a difference.”
Statistics show, for example, that people who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely than adults to develop a marijuana use disorder. Additionally, youth who use marijuana are less likely to finish high school, succeed academically, or earn a college degree compared with their peers who practice prevention. For more information on local prevention efforts and resources visit adctusc.org.