October Is Substance Abuse Prevention Month!

What Is Substance Abuse Prevention Month?

Substance abuse prevention month is a national effort to conjoin the community, governing medical and legal bodies, and people in all stages of recovery to educate the public on the prevalence of substance abuse disorders. Raising awareness is the number one goal!

Addiction has no preference across socioeconomic backgrounds. Substance use disorders afflict everyone and begin as early as childhood. In fact, the 2016 National Study on Drug Use and Health indicated 28.6 million Americans from the age of twelve and up used illicit substances a month prior to the study.

Prevention education is our first tool against substance abuse. Substance abuse prevention month is a powerful platform to share your message! It doesn’t matter if you’re newly in recovery, a loved one on the outside, or a recovery advocate— there’s something for everyone.

Substance Abuse Prevention Saves Lives

It’s true.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse allocates funds for massive research on prevention education because it’s effective. Prevention methods are developed depending upon their intended use. Methods vary for prevention education courses intended for school audiences, home study, and throughout the community at large.

Prevention education is for everyone, not just adolescents and adults who haven’t experimented with illicit or addictive substances. Those who are currently self-medicating with addictive substances benefit equally, if not more so. Prevention education targets at-risk populations for abuse, and persons already involved.

There is always hope.

Prevention education is the best means of— you guessed it, preventing substance abuse from the get-go. That’s because prevention education illuminates the detrimental effects of long-term substance abuse. Smart prevention education forgoes scare tactics. The days of D.A.R.E education have come to a halt, as the nation reevaluates its values and ideas on substance use disorders.

Well constructed substance abuse prevention programs revolve around bolstering prevention methods (such as education, limiting access to prescription medications, etc.) while reversing or reducing risk factors.

Examples of reversing risk factors include eliminating environments of abuse, staying clear from established drug users, and getting into a substance abuse prevention program. Reducing risk for substance abuse is closely enmeshed with reversal, but extends to understanding the underlying causes of addiction and substance use disorders.

Typically substance abuse rears its head when users are unable to address deep-seated emotional turmoil. Co-occurring afflictions remain among the chief catalysts of addiction.  Untreated— and often undiagnosed— mental health culprits include mood, anxiety, and depressive disorders. Self-medication is common among those who do not seek treatment.

The good news?

Everyone can recover.

How to Prevent Substance Abuse

Preventing substance abuse (or addressing a full-blown substance use disorder) is the number one priority of substance abuse prevention month! You can get started right now. Make the commitment to attain your sobriety.

The longer you wait, the greater your risk.

It only takes one time to accidentally overdose.

There were 72,000 overdoses in 2017.

You won’t be the exception.

Get help.

Find a substance abuse prevention and treatment program near you.

RELATED: Medically Assisted Detox Options


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