National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, held each October, is one of many ways in which SAMHSA emphasizes active prevention in communities across the US.
According to SAMHSA leaders, ongoing research continues to show that “substance abuse, including underage drinking and the non-medical use of prescription and over-the counter medications, significantly affects the health and well-being of our nation’s youth and people of all ages.”
Addiction treatment facilities, and the clients and families that they serve, are highly aware of this fact, because they see the results everyday of these sobering SAMHSA statistics:
- Nearly 18 million Americans are known to have alcohol dependence or abuse
- Alcohol is a factor in approximate 41 percent of deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the US
- About 10 million Americans aged 12 to 20 report drinking in the last month—to make this number more easily understood, this is higher than the entire population of the state of Michigan
- Approximately 23 million Americans (that is the same as Australia’s entire population!) are currently illicit drug user, with marijuana and misuse of prescription drugs the most common
- Drug and alcohol use can negatively affect the quality and the length of life
Stopping substance abuse before it starts
Prevention. This is very much an “it takes a village” commitment. Individuals and communities can make a positive impact on the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. And this is what October’s National Substance Abuse Prevention Month is all about: prevention is everyone’s business.
Community and school organizations, churches and social groups, individuals and families, peers and coworkers are all encouraged to take the Prevention Pledge.