National Prevention Week
Published 12:51 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Editorial by Ashley McKelvey
May is an exciting month! For many people, May marks the end of the school year and the start of family vacations, barbeques, pool parties, lots of sunshine, and many other exciting events. Here at the Prevention Resource Center (PRC) May is the time we recognize the week National Prevention (May 14-20).
National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. Each day brings a new topic. Those topics include Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use, Prevention of Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse, Prevention of Prescription and Opioid Drug Misuse, Prevention of Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use, Prevention of Suicide, and Promotion of Mental Health and Wellness. The primary goals of National Prevention Week are to engage our communities, foster partnerships and collaboration among agencies and individuals, as well as to promote and disseminate information that can increase all-around health. In all of this, it’s your participation that counts the most!
Research has shown that adolescents and full-time college students most often use substances for the first time during June and July. Research also reveals that crime increases during the summer months. This is an opportunity for all of us to step in and do our part in minimizing some of these issues in our community by advocating through prevention.
Here is what you can do to be a part the National Prevention Week. Visit www.SAMHSA.gov to download the National Prevention Week Toolkit. The toolkit is available in both English and Spanish and is full of information on how to act as an advocate in your community. While on the website, you can also register for free webinars. The webinars are available to individuals and community organizations who want to learn how to get involved. Also, you can hashtag it! #PreventionPower on all your social media accounts to help bring awareness about Prevention Week. Lastly, you can contact your local prevention and rehabilitation authorities, schools, churches, and city officials to find out what they’re all doing during this week.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, help, assistance and hope is available. You can contact the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) at 800-445-8512. Help is available throughout Deep East Texas. The PRC provides the community with tobacco education, trainings, and data related to underage drinking, prescription, and other drug abuse. The PRC can be reached toll-free at 844-772-3483. Prevention works, and together, we can do this.
Ashley McKelvey is Community Liaison Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council Region 5 Prevention Resource Center